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Game Stew with Stilton and Walnut Dumplings


  • 1 pheasant, quartered

  • 1 rabbit, cut into six pieces and boned

  • 1 quail, halved

  • 6 rashers of streaky bacon, roughly chopped

  • 30g/1oz dried porcini or morels

  • mirepoix (finely chopped vegetables) such as 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, 1 garlic clove

  • 1 bouquet garni

  • 2 tbsp seasoned flour

  • 110g/4oz butter

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 glass marsala

  • ½ bottle white wine (2 glasses)

  • 570ml/1 pint game stock

  • sprig rosemary

  • salt and pepper

  • 1 bunch fresh tarragon

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley

  • for the dumplings-

  • 110g/4oz suet

  • 85g/3oz flour

  • 55g/2oz bread crumbs

  • 85g/3oz stilton

  • 110g/4oz walnuts

  • knob of butter

  • salt and pepper

  • For the Caramelised Shallots

  • 12 shallots (banana or round)

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 sprig thyme


  • 1.

    Place the porcini mushrooms in the Marsala and soak overnight.

  • 2.

    Make the dumplings mix all ingredients and shape into small balls, the size of walnut shells.

  • 3.

    Make the caramelised shallots preheat the oven to 130C/250F/Gas ½ and roast the shallots with the chopped thyme, sugar and olive oil for 1 hour.

  • 4.

    Heat the casserole dish with the butter and oil.

  • 5.

    Dust the pieces of game with seasoned flour.

  • 6.

    In a hot pan add 1 tbsp olive oil and seal the meat pieces on each side until nutty brown. Remove and place to one side.

  • 7.

    Add the mirapois of vegetables to the same pan and stir.

  • 8.

    Add the chopped bacon and add the remaining oil if necessary. Once the vegetables have softened and the bacon has browned add the sprigs of rosemary. Then add the pre-soaked porcini and the Marsala, stir and reduce by half.

  • 9.

    Add 2 glasses of wine and allow to bubble and reduce.

  • 10.

    Add the game stock and bouquet garni, bring up to boil, and reduce on a low heat.

  • 11.

    Add the sealed pieces of game and shallots and cook gently for 20 minutes.

  • 12.

    Then add the dumplings and cook for a further 20 minutes.

  • 13.

    Serve with crusty bread and a sprinkling of parsley or tarragon

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