November 4, 2015

Venison Stew

My clever husband, with his mule deer buck 

Isn't that a wild set of antlers with that curve? This is the first time Justin has really hunted in years. I think he bought a licence out here a few times, but all that Alaska and Colorado hunting, where you hike for days and see no other living soul (pretty much) has spoiled him for the tamer hunting of the east coast. Particularly the hunting of the Vaughan farm, where you might trip over the local justice of the peace, who takes a liberal view of property rights or other random guys who "lost track of where they were" (uh huh) and just ended up hunting our woods. 

So he went West, back to his roots. And he has had a lovely time. They hung this deer for a few days to age it, and are cutting and wrapping the meat today. 

He is bringing back all of that venison, so when I saw the recipe for Venison stew in this month's Saveur magazine, I decided to try it with some two year old venison from Owen that needed to be used. 

It was scrumptious, if I say so myself. The actual recipe is here. It involves mushroom pierogis, which takes approximately 19 times longer to make than the venison stew does. So I wisely avoided the pierogies. And I will give you the real recipe, and then my actual technique. (Technique sounds more generous than, say, "recipe corruption".)

Venison Stew

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 - 2.5 pounds venison shoulder, tied into a roast
salt and pepper

Heat 2 T oil in dutch oven. Sprinkle roast liberally with salt and pepper and brown on each side. Remove roast from pan.

8 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 large onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Add remaining 1 T oil to dutch oven. Cook celery and onions until beginning to carmelize, 8-10 minutes

2 cups red wine

Pour in wine and reduce by half, about 6 minutes

4 cups veal or vegetable stock
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
12 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
1 bunch thyme
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

Stir in stock, carrots, parsley and thyme (tied together) and mustard into pot. Put roast back in dutch oven and transfer to 350 degree oven and cook for four hours.

That is the gist of the recipe.

My Venison Stew 

2-3 pounds any old kind of venison that is lurking in your freezer. I used a couple packs of steaks.
3 T leftover bacon fat or oil
salt and pepper

Chop 8 stalks of celery and 2 large onions into whatever size you feel like (They are cooking for 4 hours, they aren't going to be really noticeable, finely chopped or not)
Press 4 garlic cloves

Dump in 2 cups red cooking wine from Wal-mart (near the vinegars)

Add in 4 cups chicken stock (WHO has veal stock? I would like to know.)
2 carrots chopped (Or add them with the rest of the vegetables because you didn't read the recipe carefully enough)
A generous tsp of Italian seasoning
A pinch or two of dried thyme
1 Tablespoon whatever mustard you have

And cook for four hours. It is marvelous with mashed potatoes. Or try the pierogies, if you have nothing going on for the next week. Actually, maybe they don't take that long. I just saw the length of instructions and my eyes glazed over.

Next time, I might try the slow cooker on low for eight. Because that it a more convenient time, and since it isn't a roast, I feel like it was a touch dry. I actually like slow cooked meat, cold the next day. It seems much moister. But this was pretty good warmed up too. 


Jeannie said...

This sounds yummy. I love your interpretation too.(: Going to have to try this!

Jeannie said...

Oh, and by the way, nice muley Justin!