We've always been advocates of eating venison and it's more important than ever to include it regularly in your meals now. This is why.

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Venison is rich in protein, low in fat and cholesterol. It’s also high in nutrients. So it’s pretty much a super food.

It’s a popular choice to serve in restaurants and events – and thereby lies the current problem. Because of COVID-19 the market for venison in the hospitality industry has plummeted. This means that stalkers are not culling as game dealers are only offering low prices, if buying it at all. Which has a knock-on effect on deer management.

So as fieldsports fans we need to do our bit and support the market for venison by choosing to eat this delicious meat regularly.

Tray bake suppers

I’m recently discovered savoury tray bake supper dishes and have been cooking them regularly during lockdown. I’m a fan because with a traybake you basically put all the ingredients in a large dish in the oven, go away and get on with something else and then open the oven an hour or so later to a delicious meal that you simply transfer to the plates.  True no fuss cooking.

To get you started here’s a delicious recipe for tray baked venison by Rachel Green, who created it for Taste of Game.

Tray Baked Venison Sausages with Marmalade and Bay. Serves four.

Ingredients

  • 12 x venison sausages
  • 12 small new potatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh bay leaves
  • 3 red onions, cut into wedges
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved crossways
  • 2 tbsp apple juice
  • 250g marmalade, warmed
  • 2 pears, cut into quarters
  • sea salt flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6
  2. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  3. Fry the sausages in a frying pan until browned. While the sausages are browning, in the prepared baking tray, toss the potatoes with the oil and roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Add the bay leaves, onions, butternut squash, mustard, garlic, a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper to the tin, tossing gently in the oil.  Return the tray to the oven for 15 minutes.  Stir the apple juice into the marmalade and add to the tray along with the sausages and pears and roast for a further 15 minutes until the sausages are cooked through.
  4. Serve immediately.