Chestnut and Chocolate game stew with wine pairing


It’s raining outside and I just want to slide under a blanket and watch episode after episode of Breaking Bad whilst eating dark chocolate.  But no.  Not today.  It’s Monday and I’ve got a million and one things to do before the school run.  To channel my cosy vibe, Im going to do a quick mixed game stew.  I bought a pack of diced mixed game at the local market on Saturday so this recipe is built around that.

I’m not an exacting kind of cook, I go with what looks and feels good so if you like exactness in your cooking then this recipe isn’t for you.

  • Feeds – 4 adults
  • Time to prep – 10 minutes
  • Time to cook – the longer the better but I would set aside an hour for it to bubble away quietly.
  • Freezes very well


  • 550g Bag of mixed game – diced
  • 180 g Chesnuts
  • A few handfuls of mixed root veg e.g. beetroot, potatoes, swede, parsnip
  • (Cheat tip – use some frozen pre prepared mixed root veg after you have added the stock rather than at frying stage)
  • 2 sticks of celery thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 pack lardons (49 g)
  • 50 g extra dark chocolate
  • 450 ml beef stock (Up to 450 ml of boiling water to dilute)
  • 2 large spoons of plain flour
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  1. Toss the game in the flour until completely coated.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of the olive oil to a large saucepan and fry the game in batches until it begins to brown. Take the game out of the pan and transfer it to a plate.
  3. In the same pan add more oil and fry the lardons until they begin to get crispy.
  4. Add the vegetables, onions, garlic, celery and chestnuts.
  5. Cook over a medium heat until they begin to brown.
  6. Return the meat to the pan.
  7. Give everything a good stir adding the stock and two table spoons of additional flour.  Stir again.
  8. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  9. Bring it to a simmer and add the squares of chocolate.
  10. Put the lid on and cook on the hob on a low heat for approximately an hour until the meat is tender.

Serve piping hot with a lovely mound of mash or tabouleh with finely chopped parsley is also quite amazing.  Oh and a large glass of red wine on the side.  I would heartily recommend the following to enhance the dark chocolate element:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Barolo, Malbec.


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