My husband’s friend at work is a frequent hunter so we were recently the beneficiaries of a three pound bag of this delicious lean meat. Last week we finally took it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the frig for several days. Today we have a huge pot of venison stew.
This big pot of stew cost us all of about $6 in vegetables and miscellaneous ingredients, since the meat itself was free!
If you find yourself with a hunk of venison from a hunter-friend and you’re not sure what to do with it, give this a try, I really think you’ll be surprised at how wonderful this basic stew is. The meat is definitely the star of the show!
3 lbs venison meat
all purpose flour
2 large onions
4 stalks celery (plus some leaves if there are any)
2 large carrots
2 medium parsnips
4 cloves garlic
2 jalapeno peppers
1 can organic diced tomatoes
1 C red wine
5 C beef stock
3 bay leaves
1 Tbsp Herbs de Provence
salt and pepper
Large non-stick pot
large plastic spoon
large santoku-style knife
small paring knife
several small to medium sized bowls
wood cutting board
- First cut up all vegetables and place into bowls. Different vegetables cook differently so I find it helpful to put certain vegetables together: onions and celery, carrots and parsnips, garlic and jalapenos. Then I’ll add the vegetable “groupings” to the pot at the same time.
- Cut up the meat into stew sized pieces, cutting against the grain. Place meat in a large zipper bag.
Add 1/3 C flour, salt and pepper (to taste) to the bag. Seal the bag making sure there’s plenty of air in the bag and shake up the meat to coat it.
- Put about 2 Tbsp oil in the pot and turn to medium heat.
- Dump half the meat from the zipper bag into the hot oil and brown meat on all sides. This takes about 4-5 minutes. [Don’t worry about doing this perfectly, just toss the meat around every half minute or so and you’ll get most of it browned.] Remove the meat to a large bowl and do the same thing with the other half. Add a little more oil to the pot if needed, about a teaspoon at a time. Remove the second batch to the bowl as well.
- Add a tiny bit more oil if you need to, and add the onions and celery to the pot. Saute these briefly until they start to soften.
- Add the carrots and parsnips and continue to saute until the vegetables start to brown.
- Finally add the garlic and jalapeno and saute for another minute or so.
- Add the red wine to the pot and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula to release whatever yummy stuff has stuck to the bottom of the pan. Let that simmer for a minute.
- Add the meat, tomato, stock, and seasonings to the pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover, and let cook for an hour. Check it occasionally to make sure the simmer is low and that you aren’t losing liquid. You can add more stock to the pot if you like. Just don’t add stock or water within the last 20 minutes or the flavors won’t all have time to blend.
Serve with crusty whole grain bread, preferably home made!
[Note: Most seasoned makers of venison stew claim that slow cooking is the best method. Deer meat is lean but it is not super-tender in general. I would have to agree that if this stew was made in the slow cooker it probably would be a lot more tender. I have’t tried it yet since hunting season is over, but if you do try that please let us know how it turns out! If you’re wondering how, just put everything in your slow cooker at step 9 and cook it on low for 6-8 hours.]
Protein: 55 g
Fat: 11 g
Carbohydrates: 24 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sugar: 8 g
Sodium: 646 mg