Sorry have been away so long- exhausted, wintered out, time and all that. But here we are. We went, like all greedy and good middle class people to Lidle which sometimes really does sell you fabulous surprises, fabulously cheap. Especially over Christmas and when some game seasons come. Some of the posh feel either very virtuous or nervous, others go in for under-the breadth sniggering- ‘Look at those fat people, buying ready cooked chicken tikka masala with all that colour and fat’ ‘See the number of crisp packets in the trolley? Do they bath in crisps?’ And so on. I once whispered into the ear of a particularly obnoxious mum from my daughter’s school, a self publicised eco warrior and animal lover, that the goose she had  just bought was from a cruel battery farm in Slovenia. It was a delicious lie. They wouldn’t take it back, obviously. We bought a venison joint the same day. Hope there are no battery deer somewhere in the old Eastern bloc. Here is the most fantastic recipe I made up for it, never having cooked it before. 

Venison either a joint or thick slices
Mixture to rub on made up of a ¼ tsp each of cinnamon, cardamom, dried ginger and nutmeg powder.
½ lb each of carrots, onions, and potatoes, peel and cut into chunks
½ bottle cheap red wine
4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
1 beef stock cube
1 lb of button mushrooms washed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp pomegranate paste or syrup
3 mugs water

Rub the powder mix onto the meat on all sides
In a casserole with a lid, head the oil and cook the onions until they soften and start to brown
Add sliced garlic
Cook for a minute and add the joint turning it over a couple of times. With sliced meat do the same
Add all the other ingredients except the vegetables
Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook in the oven ( 150 degrees Celsius or gas mark 4)  for forty minutes

Take out and stir a little and add all the vegetables
Cook for another 50 minutes. Check the potatoes are cooked.
Turn off the oven and let the pot rest for half an hour
Serve with French bread and a green salad