Venison Dumpling Stew with Chorizo

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A World in My Kitchen

A World in My Kitchen

By Peter Gordon

Published 2003

  • About

Farmed deer have become a recognisable animal in the New Zealand landscape; they are the descendants of deer that British settlers took to New Zealand to hunt for sport. However, these wild animals inevitably broke free and bred and bred and bred! So began the rapid destruction of our native bush. So, as with most things wild, man decided to tame them and began a culling and breeding process, resulting in numerous farms all over the country, where the meat is now marketed as Cervena. However (enough of the history lesson), you could use any venison meat for this, wherever it comes from. Dried wood ear fungus (or cloud ear fungus) is sold in Asian food shops. Dried shiitake mushrooms can be used instead.


  • 600 g (1 lb 3 ½ oz) venison, minced (use haunch or leg, don’t use expensive fillet for mince)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz) olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 12 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 150 g (5 oz) cooking chorizo, cut into ½ cm (¼ in) slices
  • 500 ml (16 fl oz) light meat stock
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz) soy sauce
  • 50 g (1 ¾ oz) dried wood ear fungus, soaked in
  • 500 ml (16 fl oz) warm water for 30 minutes
  • 600 g (1 lb 3 ½ oz) large potatoes, cut into wedges


Mix venison, salt and pepper and roll into 12 equal-sized balls. Roll in flour. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a saucepan and fry onions, carrot, garlic and oregano until coloured. Remove from pan. Add remaining oil and brown the meatballs and chorizo — you may want to do this in two batches. Return vegetables to the pan and add stock, soy sauce and enough strained fungus soaking water to just cover the meatballs. If there is not enough liquid, just pour on some boiling water. Cut wood fungus into fat strips and add to the pan with potato then bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer on the stove or bake in the oven at 170°C/340°F/Gas Mark 3-4 for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked.