Venison Curry with Lamb’s Kidneys

All game takes well to Indian-style dishes. In this luscious curry the venison is cooked gently in an aromatic sauce that is thickened and enriched by the addition of juicy kidneys at the last moment. If possible, spices should always be bought whole and then ground freshly, either in a coffee grinder or a pestle and mortar. Serve the curry with basmati rice and a green vegetable or salad.

Ingredients

  • 900 g/2 lb boneless venison from shoulder or neck
  • 2 medium red peppers
  • 2 medium onions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 5 cm/2 in piece fresh ginger
  • 2 fresh red chillies
  • 3 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 50 g/2 oz butter
  • 400 g/14 oz tin chopped tomatoes
  • 600 ml/1 pint beef stock
  • 6 lamb’s kidneys
  • handful fresh coriander leaves
  • salt

Method

Cut the venison into 4-5cm/1½-2in cubes. Cut the red peppers in half lengthways, discard the seeds and stems and then slice across very thinly. Peel the onions, garlic and ginger and chop finely. Cut the chillies in half under running water, remove the seeds and stems and then chop finely.

Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2. Put the oil into a large, heavy-based frying pan over a high heat, then add the venison and cook, turning, until browned all over. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the meat to a large flameproof casserole dish. Add the ground spices to the oil in the frying pan and stir around for half a minute, then add the butter and lower the heat to medium. When the butter has melted, add the red peppers, onions, garlic, ginger and chillies and fry, stirring, until the peppers and onions have just begun to soften. Then add this mixture, including the spices and fat, to the venison in the casserole. Empty in the tinned tomatoes and the beef stock, season with salt and stir. Put the casserole on top of the stove and bring to the boil, then cover and cook just below the centre of the oven for about 2 hours or until the venison is very tender.

Meanwhile, cut the kidneys in half and roughly chop the coriander leaves. When the venison is tender, put the casserole on top of the stove again. With the juices bubbling very gently, add the kidneys and stir for 2-3 minutes — they must remain pink and juicy in the centre. Remove from the heat, sprinkle in the chopped coriander leaves and serve immediately.