Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Savory Venison Stew

I definitely love my home style foods - stews, pot pies, roasts, and hearty breads, just to name a few. Unfortunately, fall and winter are the domain of these foods, and here we find ourselves in early summer. However, because Z and I will be moving to Texas next month (well, our stuff and I will be moving then, Z will follow later), we really need to empty out the deep freeze (apparently movers don't like putting freezers full of food into very hot semi trucks). So, we decided to use up our venison on a favorite stew of ours, invited over some friends, and made sure we had a good bottle of wine to go with it.

Now, I know I stated with a recipe for this stew, but I haven't looked at it in years, and it varies greatly from stew to stew, depending on what we have around the house, who is coming over for dinner (our friend "J" doesn't like mushrooms), and whether I'm feeling like a little adventure.

This time, I had some grape tomatoes laying around that were starting to get too wrinkly for salads, so I threw those in. I would recommend slicing them in half if you're going to use cherry/grape tomatoes - in their whole form, even after cooking for 2 hours, they were basically little boiling hot liquid bombs that burned the inside of your mouth every time you bit into one. Also, check out the cast iron dutch oven. Z found this little gem at Ikea, for about a quarter of the price of Le Creuset. Granted, I've never used Le Creuset to know if I'm giving up a lot on quality, but I have to say we've already gotten a lot of use out of the pan, and haven't been disappointed yet.

Doesn't this stew just scream "eat me!"?

As you can see in the background, there was also a fresh loaf of homemade bread involved. That recipe will follow in my next post. Until then, here's the venison stew recipe...

Savory Venison Stew
Ingredients:
3 tbsp. flour
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 - 3 lbs venison, cubed (can also use beef)
1-1/2 onion, cut into large chunks
3 stalks celery, cut into large chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb carrots, cut into large chunks
4 large potatoes, cut into large chunks
1/2 lb mushrooms, halved
2 tomatoes, diced
4 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine
lots of herbs and spices

Directions:
  • Toss venison with flour and powdered spices (salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, etc. - use your imagination - you could add cumin for a southwest stew)
  • Heat olive oil in a heavy stock pot or dutch oven, and brown meat (in batches if necessary). Remove meat from pot when browned.
  • Add onion, garlic, and celery and saute for several minutes
  • Add in dried herbs (e.g., basil, rosemary, bay leaf, oregano, marjoram, thyme, etc. - again, there's room for creativity here - use what you have)
  • Saute for several minutes more, and then deglaze the pan with red wine
  • Add the venison back in, along with carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, and tomatoes.
  • Add beef stock. Salt and pepper to taste (can add more as cooking continues)
  • Cover pot and simmer on low for 90+ minutes, until meat is tender and you're ready to serve.
  • note - if you prepare this in a dutch oven, you can "simmer" it in your oven at 300° instead of on the stove top.

3 comments:

Sam said...

Thanks again for having us over! The stew was fantastic! Also, Adrian enjoyed the tequila spiked wine coolers ;-)

R. Mansfield said...

I've created a link to your venison stew recipe in our newest "Cast Iron Around the Web" entry at http://www.cookingincastiron.com

Katie said...

wow, that looks FANTASTIC!