Venison Vondaloo

If you adore tangy, lively, punchy flavours then this curry recipe is for you. Vindaloo is infamous for being the most fiery curry one can order at the curry house. However, traditionally this Goan dish of strong Portuguese influence is tangy, rich and warming. It’s packed with plenty of vinegar, succulent onions, and sweet spices rather than off-the-richter scale heat from chilli alone.

A sweet and tangy apple & carrot ‘mango’ chutney is particularly fantastic alongside this vindaloo.

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Spice blend:

Preparation Method

  1. If you have time, try making this curry a day ahead. It is even more delicious reheated the next day and much easier if you’re hosting friends and family. The spices will all mellow and harmonise wonderfully over 24 hours.
  2. Start with the spices. Crack open the cardamom pods and pick out the seeds. Tip the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom seeds and black peppercorns into a small saucepan and dry-toast over a low heat for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Grind in a pestle and mortar then combine with the chilli powder, turmeric, cinnamon and cloves.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the diced venison, all the spices, and the Aspall Cyder Vinegar. Mix well then allow the venison to marinate for one hour; this is a naturally lean meat so one hour is sufficient, any longer may toughen the meat.
  4. Meanwhile, chunky chop the onions. Heat 4 tablespoons of rapeseed oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over low/medium heat. Ideally use a saucepan or casserole dish which can be popped in the oven. Fry the onions for 14-16 minutes until fully soft, translucent and lightly caramelised. This sweet base is key to balance out the vinegary tang later on.
    While the onions are frying, peel and finely slice the garlic, peel and chop the ginger into thin matchsticks, and finely slice the chillies. After 14-16 minutes add these to the onions, along with the curry leaves and 2 teaspoons of sea salt, and continue frying for 6 minutes.
  5. After 6 minutes add the tamarind, light brown sugar and mustard seeds, stir well and keep the heat very low. By now your venison will have been marinating for one hour. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy based frying pan over medium-high heat. Brown the diced venison in batches being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Deglaze the pan after each batch with a spalsh water and use a spatula to rub off any lingering browned spices then tip all this wonderful juicy flavour in with the onions. Repeat the process a few times until all the meat is browned and has joined the other ingredients in the curry. If there is any vinegary marinade left in the mixing bowl add this to the curry as well.
  6. Add 2 tins chopped tomatoes and 1 cup of water to the saucepan and stir well. Bring to a gentle simmer and preheat the oven to 150ºC.
  7. Once preheated, place a lid on your vindaloo and pop it in the centre of the oven to slow cook for 2.5 hours.
  8. After 2.5 hours remove from the oven and check the texture of your meat by gently pressing it with a wooden spoon. It should press apart easily. If you think your curry needs a little longer, pop it back in the oven for a further 30 minutes, perhaps with the lid off if it needs to reduce a little too.
  9. While the curry is cooking you have time to prepare the rice, and any greens of your choice.
  10. Enjoy a sweet chutney with this wonderfully complex curry – we suggest the carrot chutney via the related recipes below which is a British take on the classic mango chutney.

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