Venison with Port and Guinness

Venison with Port and Guinness

This recipe is a true winter warmer. It can be made with venison or beef but we feel venison is that little bit more special for the season that is in it. Just don’t tell Rudolph and his friends! This recipe serves 10 to 12 people making it ideal for when you have friends and family gathered around the table.



Serves 10-12 people

6 lb (2.75kg) venison or beef, cut into 2.5cm squares

2 pts (1.2litres) Guinness (10flozs) port

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs thyme

8ozs (225g) onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

3 tbls butter

3 tbls olive oil

2 level tablespoons flour

Salt and freshly milled black pepper


  1. The night before cooking put the meat in a large bowl along with the bay leaves and thyme. Pour the Guinness and port over it and put a plate on top of the meat and leave to marinade overnight in a cool place.  The next day stir everything together.
  2. Preheat the oven to 140oC/Gas Mark 1. Melt half the butter and oil in a flameproof casserole and heat gently.  Drain the meat, reserving the liquid and herbs, and dry a few pieces at a time with kitchen paper.  Turn the heat up to high and add these pieces to the pan to brown them.  Remove them and continue until all the meat is browned.
  3. Add the rest of the butter and oil to the pan and as soon as it foams add the chopped onions and garlic to brown these for about 10 minutes.
  4. Return all the meat to the casserole, to join the onions. Stir in the flour to soak up all the juices.  Then pour in the marinade (including the bay leaves and thyme) and season will with salt and pepper.
  5. As soon as it reaches a gentle simmer, put on the lid and transfer the casserole the middle shelf of the oven and leave it for about 3 hours. At this stage the meat should be tender and the sauce really rich and dark.

This is really good served with braised red cabbage and a puree of potato and celeriac with garlic.

This special braised dish is wonderful for a party and needs no last minute attention or fuss.  You could use shoulder or venison (which gives a more gamy flavour), or a well flavoured cut of beef, such as brisket.