Friday, November 12, 2010

Venison Stew

The trees are bare here in North Central Montana. The temperature dips down into the teens at night and barely sees the 40’s during the day. Antelope and deer season are in full swing and we’ve had a few days of light snow.

Already this year we have wild game in the freezer and there’s no better way to use some of that meat for a hot, comforting bowl of Venison Stew. It seems that I can’t make a small amount of soup or stew and by the time I’d finished, we had enough for a few dinners and a few lunches (and the last bit for my breakfast this morning)! One of the good things about this stew is that as delicious as it was on the first night, it only got better as the days went along.

I was prompted to make this after seeing Debbie’s blog, The Friday Friends, when she made Tyler Florence's Ultimate Beef Stew, which she served over mashed potatoes. I put potatoes in my stew, but I think either way would be great. If you make this (and you can substitute the venison with beef stew meat) please cut your vegetables into rather large pieces or they’ll disintegrate during the 4 or 5 hours it takes to get this stew to perfection! I halved the potatoes lengthwise, then cut them in thirds and they were the perfect size. Likewise with the carrots, onions and mushrooms – cut them on the thick, chunky side rather than a small dice.

I have a little something new on my blog: a PRINT RECIPE link that will take you to a printer friendly page!

Venison Stew        PRINT RECIPE
1# venison stew meat
½ cup flour seasoned with 1 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp salt
3 T bacon grease
3 T olive oil
½ cup white wine
1# mushrooms, sliced ¼ inch thick
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
4 carrots, cut into 1 ½ inch lengths
4 celery stalks, cut into 1 ½ inch lengths
1-14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 quart beef stock
2 cups hearty red wine
1 tsp paprika
5 medium potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise, then into thirds
3 T cornstarch

1. Rinse stew meat and dry with paper towel.
2. Mix ½ cup flour, 1 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp salt. Dredge meat in flour mixture.
3. Put bacon grease in 7-qt dutch oven. Add stew meat (in two batches) in single layer and brown well on all sides. Remove browned meat to a paper towel lined plate.
4. Add white wine to deglaze pan. Cook until reduced by half.
5. Add mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add additional olive oil as needed.
6. Add onion, garlic and bay leaves and cook for 5 minutes.
7. Add carrots and celery and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8. Add diced tomatoes, beef stock, red wine and paprika.
9. Add potatoes.
10. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 4-5 hours. 
11. Make a slurry of cornstarch and water. Add to stew and return to a boil to thicken.