Game on the Menu at Welbeck Estate

Posted on November 20, 2017

Game is on the menu at The School of Artisan Food for Great British Game Week. Set in the historic Welbeck Estate nestled in heart of Sherwood Forest, the award-winning food School has created a delicious venison and porter stew recipe to showcase this wild meat rich in flavour and history.

The School regularly runs courses featuring the abundance of game found on the 15,000-acre ducal estate including red and fallow deer as well as rabbit, hare, pheasant, partridge, woodcock, wood pigeon, wild goose, mallard and teal.

Now head chef Chris Smith is sharing his recipe to encourage more people to try game as part of Great British Game Week.

Julie Byrne, managing director, The School of Artisan Food, said: “We are big fans of sustainable British game at the School. It is such a versatile and healthy source of protein that should feature more on our dinner tables. If you’re new to game, a great way of trying it is to substitute your favourite winter dish, like pie or stew, with delicious game such as venison, rabbit, pheasant, wild duck and wood pigeon.”

On the School’s popular Game in a Day - now booking for 20 January 2018 - the expert butchery tutors show you how to make the most of delicious seasonal British game meat, practical butchery techniques including how to skin and pluck game, the importance of hanging and how to confit legs to use in a game terrine.

Venison in a Day - next running on 2 February - showcases this first-rate lean, sustainable and delicious meat. This hands-on day will show how to butcher and cook with venison. From skinning to salt-curing, students will learn how to transform a deer carcass into familiar cuts, favourite dishes and classic charcuterie.

Over at the Welbeck Farm Shop, the butchery counter is groaning under the weight of the estate’s game while the award-winning butchers are on hand to provide advice and guidance to the home cook.

Oliver Stubbins, farm shop manager said: “We are lucky to have an abundance of game here on the estate, with venison, pheasant, partridge and rabbit available through the majority of the season. Our game is both sourced and prepared here on the estate, so there is genuinely zero food miles, which provides a great ethical purchase in addition to the wonderful rich flavours quite unlike anything else.

“There is a real resurgence of game in the top British restaurants, with most offering pheasant, partridge or venison, however very few people realise how affordable game is. We now offer packs of fresh partridge and pheasant breast, making preparation even simpler so there really isn’t a need to be an expert chef.”

Venison and Porter Stew

Wintery months call for comforting meals to warm the soul. This delicious slow-cooked venison and ale stew is a great way of making the most of seasonal game and deliciously rich flavours.

1 kg of diced venison haunch or shoulder
500ml porter (try Portland Black by Welbeck Abbey Brewery)
200ml beef stock
25g flour
2 tablespoons of oil
25g butter
8 shallots, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
150g mushrooms, halved if large
2 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf


  • Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based casserole dish or deep frying pan and brown the meat, then remove to a plate and keep warm.
  • Fry the shallots and mushrooms for a few minutes until the shallots have softened and are slightly golden. Add the meat and any juices back to the pan and sprinkle over the flour.
  • Add the carrots, bay leaf and thyme, pour over the ale and stir everything together.
    Put a lid on the pan, then bring to the boil briefly before simmering very slowly for about 2 hours 30 mins.
  • Add the beef stock and continue to simmer for another hour or until the meat is tender. Season to taste with salt and black pepper towards the end of cooking.
  • Serve with a helping of buttery mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and buttered cabbage.




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