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Slow cooker chef: warming winter mixed game casserole recipe

Photo: Game casserole

Photo: Game casserole

Unless you have a shotgun and access to rough shooting, game can be a very expensive treat in the UK. A small pack of mixed game from Waitrose will set you back around a fiver. So when Danny spotted two bags of mixed game marked down to £1.25 each he grabbed them with a chortle.

“Oh dear,” I secretly thought, “This meat needs to be cooked immediately and I haven’t got the right vegetables for a game casserole.” But of course I had dehydrated ones – it’s difficult to switch on to this new source of bounty having just cooked with fresh veg for so many years.

The great benefit of dehydrated vegetables is that the preparation has been done at the dehydrating stage. So if we discover meat that needs to be cooked at once it is not a palaver at all. Feeling like the lady from Dehydrate2Store I rolled the meat in seasoned flour, made up some hot stock, weighed out my dehydrated vegetables and tossed everything in the slow cooker. This took ten minutes. Four hours later the casserole was cooked. As with most stews and casseroles the flavour improves if you let the dish chill overnight and eat the next day.

Dehydrated vegetables weigh roughly 10% of their fresh weight. So I’ve given the weights for both dehydrated and fresh vegetables.

Slow cooker chef: warming winter mixed game casserole

Ingredients:

680g of boned, chopped mixed game
2-3 tbsp of seasoned plain flour
10g of dehydrated onions/100g of fresh chopped onions
20g of dehydrated carrots/200g of fresh chopped carrots
5g of dehydrated celery/50g of fresh celery sliced fine
5g of dehydrated tomatoes/50g of fresh tomatoes chopped
10g of dehydrated mushrooms/100g of fresh chopped mushrooms – if you are using fresh mushrooms add them for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
Quarter tsp of garlic granules
Quarter tsp of ground mace
Half a tsp of mustard seed
2 allspice berries
5 juniper berries
Quarter tsp of dried savory
Half teaspoon of mixed dried herbs
1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
850 ml of hot stock – made with one chicken stock cube and two tsp of vegetable stock powder
4 tsp of port to be added at the end

Method:

Rinse the game and pat dry with a clean tea towel. This is a good time to check for any stray shot.

Roll the pieces of game in the seasoned flour and place in the slow cooker.

Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the port to the slow cooker.

Pour over the stock and stir well (if you are using fresh vegetables you will need less stock, the meat and vegetables need to be covered rather than swimming. The dehydrated vegetables need the stock to rehydrate. Put on the lid and set the knob to *auto.

After four hours check that the vegetable are cooked, add the port, adjust the seasoning if necessary  and remove to a cold place to chill.

* The auto knob insures that the dish reaches the correct temperature before automatically switching to low.


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7 Comments

  1. Mmm – that looks nice. Do the dehydrated vegetables really reconstitute back to their original size and texture – the carrots in the photo look freshly cooked. I’m very impressed and am now thinking of buying a dehydrator myself. How do you store the dried vegetables?

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Joy

    It doesn’t look as good as it tasted!

    The vegetables do rehydrate to their original size and texture – the dried carrots that I used were Chantenay carrots bought on offer a couple of moths ago. If you peer at the rather poor photo you can just make them out in the casserole – they were quartered lengthwise before dehydrating. The plain carrots in the picture are fresh ones!

    The vegetables need to be stored in airtight jars or bags. I use food quality ziplock bags and these seem to do the trick.

  3. Hi, Fiona!
    Thanks for the information. I have now followed your links and ordered one. I do like the idea of taking advantage of special offers, BOGOFs and the like and I also like the idea of drying the herbs I grow in the garden. I suppose one could dry lavender in the same way or would that be too oily?
    If it turns out to be a gadget that sits in the corner, at least it isn’t terribly expensive. However, I don’t think it will be.

  4. Michelle in NZ

    All the work preparing various veg for dehydrating is certainly paying off for you now as you enjoy delicious casseroles. A lovely build up to the new year.

    I took “Alloted Time” up to the folks place over Xmas, planning to read it. Instead Mum had a great time reading it as I happily took over their kitchen. I’ve come nack and resumed my reading!

    Wishing you greatky improved healthy and energy for 2010, sending heaps of love,

    Michelle xxxx

  5. Hi Fiona,

    Just wanted to stop by to wish you a Very Happy New Year, your blog has given me much pleasure and inspiration throughout this year and I look forward to my daily visits in 2010.

    More of the same please.

    Very best wishes,
    Sue

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Joy

    I’m not sure about drying lavender in the dehydrator – you can experiment!

    I love my dehydrator – it’s a godsend and has saved us so much money.

    Hi Michelle

    Happy New Year to you too! Delighted that you are enjoying the book.

    Hi Sue

    Thank you so much for your good wishes. I’m so pleased that you are enjoying the blog.

    Happy New Year to you :)

  7. Fiona – super exciting news – Our local ALDI store has dehydrators for sale in this weeks catalogue. Very cheap but I have hope as they money back guarantee all their electricals…

    Fingers crossed please as they went on sale on the 7th & I wont get to town until tomorrow… lets hope that the lack of foodiness in Lithgow means no one went mad & bought a heap of them.

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