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Scandinavian Beef Hunter’s Stew with Bacon & Onion Dumplings

Adrian dishes up a hearty Scandinavian Stew, showing us just how easy it is to cook the sometimes snubbed meat, venison.


  • 600g venison, cut into 2-inch cubes

  • 2 carrots, chopped, 1cm dice

  • 1 leek, chopped, 1cm slices

  • 2 sticks celery, chopped, 1cm slices

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tbs unsalted butter

  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 bottles dark beer

  • 3 sprigs thyme

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 ½ tbs red currant jelly (or brown sugar)

  • 1 tbs cider or red wine vinegar

  • 1 cup stock

  • 3 tbs olive oil

  • Dumplings

  • 3 to 4 rashers finely diced bacon

  • 230 g bread cubes (from day old bread), cut into 1.25 cm cubes

  • 1 onions, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 3 tbs milk

  • 3 tbs chopped thyme

  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 litre beef stock

  • 60 g flour

  • 1 egg

  • Salt


  • 1.

    Season the venison cubes with salt and pepper and dredge with the flour. Shake off any excess.

  • 2.

    Add 2 tbs olive oil to a large frying pan over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the meat and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Work in batches so as not to crowd the beef cubes, or they will steam instead of sauté. Remove and set aside.

  • 3.

    In a pot over a medium heat, add remaining olive oil and onions. Cook for 5 minutes or until onions start to soften. Stir in 2 tbs butter, carrot, leek and celery. Once butter has melted, add browned meat to the pot.

  • 4.

    Pour the beer and stock over the meat. Add the thyme and bay leaves. Deglaze the skillet with the beer, scraping with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits, pour remnants into pot.

  • 5.

    Simmer, covered, over low heat until the meat is very tender, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Before serving, stir in the red currant jelly and vinegar; simmer for 5 minutes.

  • 6.

    While stew is cooking, prepare dumplings.

  • 7.

    In a frying pan, over a medium heat, cook the onion, garlic and bacon for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • 8.

    Add remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl along with cooked bacon and onions. Mix until well combined. Let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes or until the croutons are thoroughly moistened.

  • 9.

    Meanwhile, bring 1 litre of beef stock to the boil. Dampen hands and form mixture into balls about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Drop the dumplings into the broth one by one, turn the heat to medium and cook uncovered for 12 to 14 minutes or until they a firm to touch.

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Posted by Report
Made this tonight, was absolutely beautiful. Husband now under orders to get more venison!