My first post-holiday trip to Lidl has left me with a bulging bag of goodies - all in "the name of the game"! I am most excited about the two 500g packs of wild boar stewing meat - fantastic value at €6.99 per half kilo. (During the holidays they were even on offer for €5.99!) Next new and impressive item was a 600g bag of frozen wild mushrooms - for €3.69! (They also do 300g bags of ceps or chanterelles for the same price.) I wouldn't dream of buying frozen white mushrooms, but these were amazing: heady with their musky, woody aroma, meaty - and they retained their shape and texture brilliantly after being sweated off.
I also couldn't resist 250g of wild boar pate with cognac - an absolute steal at €1.99. And just to push the boat out, I bought a 150g jar of red fruit confit for €1.59 as well - and a big round (360g) of lovely fromage de brebis coated in thyme and rosemary (€ 5.99). With these items I could easily serve a four-course "game meal" (pate, mushrooms, wild boar stew, cheese) for six for under €5 per head (that sum would include a bit of salad, bread + potatoes)!
After looking through loads of lovely wild boar casserole recipes I came up with this Belgian beer version (to serve 6) which is absolutely stunning. And as wild boar is obviously not that easy to come by and usually much more expensive (but please DO check your local (British/French/German) Lidl branches for offers!) this would work nicely with venison - and beef or lamb:
1 kg of cubed wild boar (quite big pieces ie 5 cm)
2 tbs of seasoned flour
3 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
300g of wild mushrooms, chopped/sliced roughly*
2 bay leaves
1 tsp of thyme (dried)
250 ml of dark beer/ale/biere brun
400 ml of beef stock (from a cube)
4 tbs of vegetable oil
3 tbs each of:
red fruit jam/jelly (not strawberry or raspberry though)
Preheat the oven to °160.
Put the meat in a large ziplock bag with seasoning and mix well to coat.
Heat 1 tbs of oil and sweat off the onions and garlic. Transfer to a large casserole dish.
Heat another tbs of oil and sweat off the mushrooms (if using frozen ones, there will be a bit more liquid - but it all evaporates in a few minutes). Add to the onion mix.
Heat the rest of the oil and brown the meat. Deglaze the pan with the stock, stirring to loosen all the lovely "brown bits". Add to the casserole together with the stock, beer and herbs/spices and seasoning.
Bring to the boil, cover with the lid and transfer to the oven.
Cook for 2 hours. Check the meat - it should be tender. If not, cook for another 30 mins.
Add the jam, creme fraiche and cognac and stir to combine. Check seasoning.
Serve with mashed potatoes.
* You can, of course, use normal mushrooms - but ideally jazzed up with a few (soaked) dried mushrooms for extra flavour (use the soaking liquid for the stock!) Aldi do a great value 100g of mixed wild ones for under 4 Euro.
Yesterday I added a leftover large parsnip and a chunk of celeriac (boiled together) to the potatoes - lovely!