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Typical for Christmas: Venison Stew
(Sent in by Jenny Cunningham, Edinburgh)

Venison Stew is a rich traditional Scottish dish which would grace any Christmas table. It was very popular on tables of gentlefolk in the 18th-19th century.

Ingredients:
1 lb venison, 1 lb bacon, 1 oz butter, 1 lb carrots, stick of celery, 1 large onion, grated peel of one orange, 3/4 pint milk, some thyme, some flour, 2 teaspoons whisky, 1/4 pint cream, some cheese, salt and pepper.

Method:
Cut the venison into strips. Cut off the rind from streaky bacon. Put the butter into a non-stick pan, and brown the two meats briskly. Add salt & pepper to taste. Slice the carrots and add it together with a stick of celery, the onion and the grated orange peel to the meats. Then put in the milk, just to cover the meat, add a spray of thyme, and cover. Simmer for two hours until venison is tender.
Now remove meat & vegetables, thicken the juices with a little flour, and then add the whisky and the cream. Heat gently until thick and smooth. Pour over the meat and vegetables in the dish. Grate a little cheese over, and brown in the oven until it bubbles.
Serve with buttered mashed potatoes and buttered mashed swedes or turnips.

Rabbit in Lentils
(Sent in by Rosy Bradshaw, Glasgow)

Ingredients:
1 jointed rabbit, 4 oz lentils, 1 sliced onion, 1 large carrot, 2 sticks sliced celery, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, salt, pepper.

Method:
Place the rabbit joints in a pan with the lentils, onion, carrot, celery, herbs and seasoning. Cover with stock or water, cover the pan and cook gently for about 2 hours until the rabbit and the lentils are really tender. Remove the rabbit joints to a clean dish. Rub the vegetables through a sieve or liquidiser, adding a little more stock if necessary to make purée which should be like thick cream. Adjust seasoning. Coat the rabbit with the purée and warm gently. Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley over the dish and serve.
 

Venison Collops
(Sent in by Jenny Cunningham, Edinburgh)

Ingredients:
2 lb fillet of venison, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon flour, salt, black pepper, a pinch of ground mace, 1/2 pint brown gravy or rich beef stock, 1/2 pint water, 1 teaspoon red-currant jelly.

Method:
Cut the venison into thin slices and fry in hot butter until they are brown on both sides. Remove the meat and stir flour into the butter. Add stock and water. Season with salt, pepper and mace. Put the venison back into the pan, cover and simmer very gently until it is tender. Skim the sauce, add a teaspoon of red-currant jelly and pour over the collops.

Grouse in Claypot
(Sent in by anonymous hobby cook)

The Red Grouse is certainly Scotland´s premier game bird being found and hunted on most heather-covered moorlands.

Ingredients:
1 grouse, 1/2 apple, 1 rasher fat bacon, 2 tablespoons red wine, butter.

Method:
Pluck and draw the grouse and stuff it with a knob of butter and half an apple to keep the bird moist. Lay a slice of fat bacon over the breast and put the bird in you clay pot. Add the red wine and cover. Cook in a pre-heated oven at Gas 5, 190°C (375°F) for 40 minutes. Serve with fried breadcrumbs, watercress and wafer potatoes.

Pigeon Breasts
(Sent in by Jenny Cunningham, Edinburgh)

Pigeons were once a common part of Scottish diet. Most large houses built a doocot to house them. Today many people dismiss pigeons as having little meat on it but the breasts make a meal in themselves.

Ingredients:
2 pigeon breasts, 4 tablespoons butter, 1 large, chopped onion, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 cup red wine, 1 cup stock, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, salt, sugar, freshly ground pepper.

Method:
Melt the butter and brown the pigeon breasts. Remove these from the pan and add the chopped onion. When brown, add the breasts and sprinkle on the flour. Mix everything well with the butter and add the wine and the stock, the herbs, salt, pepper and a little sugar to taste. Cover the pan and cook slowly in the pre-heated oven at Gas 3, 170°C (325°F) for 2 hours. When cooked, adjust seasoning, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve.
 

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