Spicy venison & Apricot Stew with Cauliflower Couscous


This Persian dish is extremely tasty and straightforward to make, which makes it one of our favourites.

It's a recipe from Sabrina Ghayour that we have adapted to venison. Check out Sabrina's great books at http://www.sabrinaghayour.com.

You can serve the stew with flatbread, but we prefer it with a cauliflower couscous as it makes a lighter meal. You can use a normal couscous instead of the cauliflower version.

By the way, if you're in the South of England do check out Park Grove Venison & Charcuterie for first class products. Click here to go to the Park Grove Venison Facebook page.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients for the stew

  • 600g of venison neck, foreleg or shank (other cuts can be used, but we prefer these for stewing
  • 2 large onions, roughly diced
  • 2 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tsp numeric sea salt
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 250g dried apricots
  • Olive oil for cooking

Ingredients for the cauliflower couscous

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 100g shelled pistachios
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 100g dried apricots
  • 1 bunch spring onions
  • 1 handful of chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 handful of chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • Olive oil
  • Honey for glazing (optional)

1. Dice the venison and chop the onion roughly.

2. Heat a large saucepan or sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil to cover the bottom, add onion and sauté the onions until they turn clear.

3. Remove the onion and turn up the heat. Once hot brown the venison in two batches. Add both to the pan when done and turn the heat down to medium. Stir till the heat has settled and add the onion back in.

4. Add the spices and season with salt and mix well. Once mixed add the honey and mix again.

5. Pour in boiling water to cover the ingredients. Reduce the temperature to low and let it simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid the ingredients sticking.

While venison is stewing you can make the couscous.

6. To make the cauliflower couscous you can either use a food processor or grate the cauliflower. Either way, remove the leaves and rinse the cauliflower. Dice it roughly if you use a food processor. Process the cauliflower until it looks like breadcrumbs or use the fine tooth on the grater.

7. Pour the cauliflower into a large serving bowl.

8. Toast the almonds and shelled pistachios lightly on a non-stick frying pan. Add a couple of table spoons of honey and mix over medium heat for a minute or so, if you want to glaze the almonds and pistachios.

9. Dice the apricots and chop the mint leaves and the coriander. Cut the tops and the ends of the spring onions, rinse (be careful to remove any soil inside the onions) and cut them finely.

10. Mix the harissa with three table spoons of olive oil. Pour over the the cauliflower and ensure it’s mixed throughout.

11. Add the other ingredients, apart from some of the chopped mint leaves, coriander, almonds and pistachios. Mix well and set aside.

12. After the stew has been on the heat for an hour and a quarter you add the apricots. Stir well and cook for about 45 minutes. The stew should be sticky when served, but can add a bit of boiling water if it goes too dry.

13. When the stew is close to being ready you finish the couscous. First sprinkle the mint leaves and coriander on top and then add the nuts.

14. Serve and enjoy!