Winston Churchill Stalking was established Oct 1988. At this time we were focused on providing a deer stalking service for sportsmen. All the deer carcasses generated from this activity were sold on to a dealer, who would collect the carcasses, take them to a central plant, where they were processed and the vast majority of the venison was exported.
The value of the carcasses fluctuated violently due to global events such as, changes in exchange rates, mad cow disease, the iron curtain coming down and many others, all of which were beyond our influence.
We very quickly realised that the only way to put stability into our business was to take the marketing of our venison into our own hands. We had great confidence in our own product as it was well tested and tried by ourselves and wanted to sell our venison as local as possible but certainly within the UK - why export such wonderful natural meat?!!
Winston Churchill Venison was established, in a very small building, in early 1990 . Winston taught himself butchery in order to sell to friends and family and slowly the business grew. Initially we sold our surplus carcasses to the dealers, but now we use all our own and buy in from neighbouring stalkers when the need arises. All of our venison is harvested from the wild.
We are a very small, family run business that takes great pride in all that we do. We are located in an Argyllshire forest, very near to Dunoon with breath taking views into Glen Kin and Kilmun hills across the Holy Loch. Balagowan has been our residence since 1986 and sits on the south western edge of the Loch Lomond National Park.
As the business grew we realised that we were outgrowing our small premises. The larder - purpose built during the year 2000 - was designed with the help of our local Environmental Health Department so that we covered all health and safety aspects, thus we have a very up to date, and user friendly, butchery. Once we commissioned the new larder our sales grew even faster which dictated that we needed to expand our team and seek butchery training.
Alastair who ran the butchery for us for eight years has moved into our stalking team – his passion for stalking shone through and he handed over the running of the larder to Danii Swan & Barlow Scott both of whom are fully qualified butchers. Barlow joined us during January 2017 and has brought old fashioned skills to the team (he started butchering over forty years ago!). Danii is currently on maternity leave with our first grandchild, William – congratulations to her and Angus! As a result of this we have recruited Jake Lees who is a local young man who has a passion for butchery and gained his qualifications during his time working in the butchery department of a local supermarket – a very good addition to our team!!
Contact us for all of your requirements, from dinner parties to weddings
Saddle of Venison
Venison Saddle can vary greatly in size & weight, depending on whether it comes from a roe deer or a red deer. As a guide they vary from approx 2kg to 5 kg and are aprox 50% bone and will serve 2 to 3 people per kg. We can cut this joint to the customers requirments and also, bone and roll the saddle at no extra cost if requested.
This has become a very popular cut and is in fact the meat from the saddle which comes fully trimmed and ready to cook – fast & easy to cook and guaranteed tender! As with all cuts they vary in size/weights depending on the size of the animal – an average hind usually provides two striploin with an average weight of 1kg each.
Haunch of Venison (bone in)
Venison Haunch can vary greatly in size & weight, depending on whether it comes from a roe deer or a red deer. As a guide, they vary from approx 1.5kg to 8kg and will feed 3 to 4 people per kg.
Rolled Haunch of Venison
Our standard pack of venison rolled haunch in our on line shop weighs out at between 950gms-1050gms, feeding 4 people. However, if any customer wishes a larger or smaller joint, please contact us, we would be delighted to advise and supply to your reqirement.
Venison Prime Steaks
Our venison prime steaks are cut from the muscles from the haunch. Our standard pack in our on line shop weighs approx 400gms and has two steaks in it, serving two people. We can cut them larger or smaller - for special requirments, please contact us.
Venison Link Sausages
Our standard pack of venison sausages in our on line shop weighs a minimum of 300 gms and will have 9 sausages inside.
Our pheasant sausages are made from pheasant thigh and breast meat - very popular! There is a choice of pheasnt & leek or pheasant & apricot. Our standard pack in our on line shop weighs a minimum of 300 gms and will have 9 sausages in them. Only available in season (1st Oct - 1st Feb)
Please look at our venison cooking tips and easy venison recipes for help on cooking but if you have any questions on any of the above products, please contact us.
Venison haunch is the most versatile cut from a deer carcass. It can be turned into, roasts (bone in or boned & rolled), steaks, diced or any minced products (pure lean mince, sausages & burgers).
Venison haunches vary greatly in size from a small Roe Deer, yealding haunches of approximately 1kg to a big Red Deer stag, yealding haunches of 10 to 12 kg! Clearly the small Roe Deer haunches are better suited to providing a small to medium roasting joint (average family size). However the larger haunches from Red Deer offer more options. Once boned and the steaks removed from the rump a haunch can be devided into three main muscles, the top side, silverside & thick flank - all can individually make a fantastic roasting joint but the topside and thick flank also make some wonderful steaks.
The individual muscles from the haunch are also good for home smoking!
Due to the fact that venison is such a lean meat, one has to take this into consideration when cooking. We cook our steaks as fast and as simple as possible, either pan fried with a little olive oil and butter or on a very hot griddle or bbq (better to rub a little oil & seasoning onto them before cooking).
Anne cooks our venison roasts plainly, lightly seasoned with no marinade (but that is a good option), in a covered dish with a enough water to cover the base of the tin - this ensures that it stays moist. I tend to make our casseroles myself in our slow cooker, throwing in a mixture of vegetables, mushrooms, mixed peppers and red currant jelly and an oxo cube.
Make sure that it cooks for at least 6 hours --- fantastic!!
On the whole our venison should be tender as the deer are aged as they come in to our larder and hung accordingly. Being very lean meat, venison needs to be cooked with a little care so that it does not dry out and become tough.
Fillet or Prime - Should be quickly fried in a very hot pan with a little olive oil and butter (oil to stop the butter burning), and served with a nice rich gravy with a little port or red wine added. Red currant, black currant and rowan berry jelly is very nice with venison.
Should be cooked slowly in either a double roasting tin or in a tin covered with foil. Rub the roast with a little oil and seasoning before putting into the tin, add about ½ - 1 pint of water and cover. Turn the roast half way through cooking to stop the top drying out.
Should also be cooked slowly to allow the flavour of the meat to develop. Red currant jelly can be added and gives a hint of sweetness which is very nice and adds a richness to the pot.
Can be used in place of lean beef mince in cooking lasagne, chilli, spaghetti bolognese, even mince and potato to name just a few ways.
Excellent for breakfast! Or on the BBQ
Good on the BBQ or for a quick lunch.
With our silver wedding a fading memory and given that Winston is so passionate about wild meat, I have been cooking venison and game for longer than I care to remember!!
We use venison and game as part of our staple diet, perhaps in the same way as most folk use, beef, pork, lamb & chicken. I suppose that after all these years of cooking venison & game, it is easy for me to say that it is easy but it really is! The main thing to remember is that it contains almost no fat and will “dry out” in cooking unless one takes that into account. I tend to cook venison and game in a very simple way :-
Roast Venison & Roast Pheasant
After seasoning, place in a covered roasting dish/tin with half an inch of water in it and cook at 160 c for approximately an hour per Kg. – it is good idea to the roast half way through the cooking period. With pheasant, start the roasting process with the bird, breast down. A very tasty gravy can be made with liquid after cooking.
Just the same as one would make a beef or chicken casserole. Plenty of chopped vegetables with diced venison or pheasant (portioned or whole bird) Cook long and slow – a slow cooker is ideal for this! A jar of red currant jelly adds a sweetness which goes very well with venison and pheasant.
Pan fry as fast as possible and leave pink in the middle – also works well on a very hot barbecue, if barbecuing rub with a little oil first.
Can be used in the same way as beef or lamb mince - Shepherds Pie (perhaps should be called “Stalkers Pie”), lasagne or savoury mince!
Of course, if you have a dinner party coming up, there are many other, more adventurous way of cooking venison & game – I list just a few of ones we have tried with great success but there are many other recipes and you might wish to acquire.
A good selection of recipes can be found in the above book and also “Farlows Game and Fish Cook Book”
4 Venison Steaks
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
125g Button Mushrooms – thinly sliced
25g Onion finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves (skinned & crushed)
15ml Lemon Juice
30ml Worcestershire Sauce
50g Good Butter
15 – 30ml Brandy
150ml Fresh Cream
Finely Chopped Parsley
Fresh Parsley to Garnish
1. Rub the steaks with the garlic and season well.
2. Heat half the butter in a frying pan and fry the steaks over a high heat for about 2 minutes on each side to brown. If you like your steaks well done cook a little longer. Place in a warm serving dish to keep hot.
3. Heat the remaining butter and quickly fry the mushrooms and onion in the pan until tender. Add the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and brandy and bring to the boil.
4. Stir in the fresh cream and parsley, bring almost to the boil, check the seasoning, then pour over steaks and serve garnished with a sprig of fresh parsley.
(From The Game Cookbook by Clarissa Dickson Wright & Johnny Scott)
Juice of 1 Lemon
900g (2lbs) Minced Venison
2 Onions Chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
½ teaspoon thyme
2 x 400g (14oz) tins of Chopped Tomatoes
400g (14oz) tin Kidney Beans
1 bottle of Beer (not lager) or stout
2 tablespoons chilli powder
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce (or use ordinary chilli sauce or Tabasco sauce with a little added sugar)
Salt & Pepper
Pour the lemon juice over the mince, mix in and allow to stand for 30 minutes. Heat the oil and fry the onions and garlic; add the venison and brown well - season. Add all the other ingredients, stir well, cover and cook slowly for 4 hours. Add more beer if it becomes too dry.