Friday, 11 April 2014

Venison stew with juniper berries and Maille mustard (Maille culinary challenge)

I do love a good mustard, and have a selection of different mustards at home. I enjoy a generous spread of mustard in sandwiches, I add them to stews and sauces, and even chips. Dijon and honey mustards are among my top choices, and a jar doesn't last long in our house. I was thrilled to be invited to take part in Maille Cooking challenge, as Maille is one of my favourite brands.
Foodie bloggers were asked to create recipes which incorporate Maille products:
"Bring on the Maille flavour and demonstrate your cooking ability by participating in our “Maille Culinary Challenge”. In the months of March & April we are inviting you to share your inspired recipes and ideas for incorporating Maille products into your repertoire".
Each blogger had a chance to choose two products from the list, and believe me, it was a difficult choice, as there were lots of tempting choices.
And when I visit their online shop, I feel like buying the whole lot. Just seen their new Limited edition Spring-Summer collection, and it is absolutely gorgeous (Doesn't Morello cherry & almond
mustard sound divine?!).
So far I have been avoiding to read what the other bloggers have chosen, as I don't want to be influenced by anyone's recipe or selection. I picked two grand products: Maille Aged Balsamic Vinegar and Mustard with Honey and Aged Balsamic Vinegar.
My entry for the challenge is Venison with Juniper Berries & Maille Mustard

Venison stew with juniper berries and Maille mustard
500g venison, cubed
1 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1tsp juniper berries
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I used Maille)
3 tbsp Maille balsamic vinegar & honey mustard
400ml red wine
1 small onion
12 dried apricots
2 blood oranges
a bunch of fresh mint

Start with dusting the venison with the plain flour. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a big frying pan, add the venison and brown the meat on all sides. It will take about 5 minutes. Put the meat in a deep casserole/Pyrex dish. Add the juniper berries (some whole, some crushed) as well as the balsamic vinegar, mustard and red wine. Slice the onion finely and give it a quick fry in the oil with juices left from the venison, once it has turned golden brown, add the onion to the meat. Place the dried apricots and sliced blood oranges (both zest and slices). Add a half of chopped mint. Pour water on top to cover the meat. Put the lid on the dish. Cook in the oven preheated to 180C for an hour and a half to two hours.
Chop the remaining mint and add at the last minute, stirring through the sauce.
I served the venison with homemade chips, but it would go nicely with the mashed potatoes as well.

For the challenge I picked two Maille products, the first one was an Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Oak-aged balsamic vinegar with notes of caramel is a versatile product, which enhances both sweet and savoury dishes. I always get a bottle of an aged balsamic vinegar whenever we go to Italy, and I was surprised to discover that Maille has its own branded balsamic vinegar. I associated Maille with a variety of mustards, but their expertise of vinegar-making goes over 265 years back.
It is a tasty vinegar, which makes even a humble salad sing.
Or serve it drizzled in the olive oil with bread to dip in, simple and delicious.

The second product was a Mustard with Honey and Aceto Balsamico di Modena. It is quite runny, like a thick yogurt, dark-coloured, fruity and fragrant. Perfect for salads, or adding to meat dishes.

The sauce is enriched by the flavours of the balsamic vinegar and mustard, and the juniper berries and apricots give it a sweet note. It is a delicious stew.
I used the last of the blood oranges from my Abel and Cole box. Now we'll have to wait until the new season. They are so much more exciting than the standard oranges.

The dried apricots absorb the meat juices and wine, while the meat acquires the flavours of all the ingredients in the dish.

And if you like it even fruitier, scatter some pomegranate seeds over the meat.

Disclosure: I received two Maille products for the purposes of taking part in the culinary challenge. All opinions and recipe are mine.


  1. oooh yes, this looks so beautiful and so delicious and very sophisticated... love this thick cut chips too. I must get some venison, I do love it!

    1. Thank you Dom! I'm off now to read what the other foodies cooked and which Maille products they have chosen.

  2. I made this (without the Juniper berries). It was delicious

    1. Juniper berries are optional, I suppose, but they add a lovely flavour

  3. Recipe sounds really nice but sadly am allergic to red wine :(

    1. You can always use some dark stock, maybe beef stock with a dash of sherry (if you're not allergic to sherry).

    2. Not allergic to sherry so will probably give it a whirl with the beef stock and sherry

  4. Looks really yummy!
    I'm a new food blogger so check out my new blog please!

  5. I've never tried venison, but this makes me want to!

    1. The first time I tried was over 20 years ago in France, and I was really apprehensive. I stayed at the friends' farm, and they were breeding the deer, it was a kind of free range farm, with lots of woodland space for them to roam.

  6. WOW this looks so tasty. IMy fella loves venison but I have never cooked it, he always has it if we eat out. This looks fab and pretty simple to make thanks x

  7. Venison is a meat that I very much want to (and am still yet to) try. It's already featured a couple of times on the current series of MasterChef! Your recipe sounds so flavoursome and the dish looks amazing. Thanks for sharing :)

    Anthony G

  8. This looks so delicious! Venison is one of my favourite stews, yum!

  9. I tried venison for the first time recently and thought it was lovely, this receipe looks lovely also

  10. I love pomegranates, not used them in this way before though!!