Main course: serves 6. Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Unlike fatty shoulder of lamb, venison has almost no fat, so it helps to lard it. Few people have larding needles, so cut thin strips of back bacon (you can equally use butter or margarine) and put in the freezer. Make incisions in the meat with a kitchen knife and insert these icicle-hard shards into the slits.

1.3kg/3lb rolled shoulder of venison
Chilled fat for larding
600ml/20fl oz brown ale
3 tablespoons French mustard

Lard the meat by making deep slits with a small sharp knife and pressing sticks of fat into the holes. Spread the mustard all over the meat and put it into an ovenproof dish.

Pour the ale round the meat, cover the dish with foil or a lid, and braise slowly at 325F/160C/Gas 3 for about two hours, or until tender. During the cooking, baste the meat frequently with the ale.

The meat can be served at this stage, after the sauce has been skimmed and seasoned to taste, or, alternatively, the sugar can be sprinkled over the meat and returned to the oven for 20 to 30 minutes to glaze the joint.