Slightly unusual, but utterly delicious, this Venison, Butternut Squash and Parsnip Tagine is easy enough for a weeknight, but impressive enough for entertaining too.
Venison is lovely, but I must confess, though I’ve eaten it a few times, I’ve not cooked it before. When I found out that this week was British Game Week, I decided that now was the time to give it a go. And do you know what? Cooking venison is easy peasy!! If you’ve never cooked with venison before, there is nothing to be scared about it. It is as easy as cooking beef and it tastes totally delicious. Plus as a bonus, it’s a great way to impress your friends and family!
I wanted to include lots of lovely seasonal flavours with my tagine, so I added butternut squash and parsnip, which work so well with the spices and venison. I also scattered my tagine with pomegranate seeds to give it a rather festive look. If that’s too much of a faff for you then feel free to leave the pomegranate seeds out!
Scattered with pomegranate, pistachios and coriander this tagine really has the wow factor, but actually it is really simple to make – perfect for any festive entertaining you might have coming up… or even for a midweek treat!
Though I love having people round for dinner and really love serving up delicious food, I hate being stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is chatting and laughing with each other. A dish like this, which can be prepared in advance and left to do its thing in the oven, while you enjoy the party, is the perfect solution.
I like to serve this with bulgur wheat, but it would also go well with couscous, rice, flatbreads or even mashed potatoes!
The big flavours in this tagine deserve a big flavoured wine, I would go for something robust and fruity such as an Australian Shiraz or a South African Pinotage.
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
- Moroccan Lamb Shank Tagine
- Lamb, Date and Butternut Squash Tagine
- Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemon
- Slow Cooked Beef and Pumpkin Chilli
- Beef and Ale Stew with Dumplings
Venison, Butternut Squash and Parsnip Tagine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 600 g venison leg steaks cut into 2cm cubes (I got mine from Tesco!)
- 3 garlic cloves crushed or grated
- 2 cm ginger grated
- 3 teaspoons ras el hanout spice mix (I used Santa Maria)
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
- 200 ml water (half the empty tomato tin)
- 200 g butternut squash peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
- 200 g parsnip peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
- 4 tablespoons coriander chopped finely
- 50 g pistachio kernels chopped finely
- Seeds from ½ pomegranate roughly 100g / 4oz (or buy a pot of pomegranate seeds)
- Couscous, rice or flatbreads to serve
- Preheat your oven to 160C / 140C fan / gas mark 3 / 325F.
- Put the oil and diced onions in an ovenproof saucepan or flame proof casserole dish and cook over a low heat with a lid on for 5 minutes until softened.
- Turn the heat up and add the venison. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Turn the heat back down again and add the garlic, ginger, chilli and ras el hanout. Cook gently for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and water and bring to the boil, then put the lid on and place in your preheated oven for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, remove from the oven and add the parsnip and butternut squash. Return to the oven for a further 45 minutes. (1h30 in total oven time.)
- Remove from the oven and stir in 2 tablespoons of the coriander. Scatter with the chopped pistachios, pomegranate seeds and remaining coriander.
- Serve with couscous, rice or flatbreads.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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