We’ve all spent cold mornings walking in frosty fields along the river hunting deer and pheasant. One thing for certain, whether you were able to harvest something or not, nothing beat coming home to a dinner of hearty venison stew for warming you through and through.
Like most recipes, this one has evolved over time. Beer has been replaced with red wine and the amount of potatoes has been reduced and more root vegetables have been added, because they bring an earthiness to the dish that pairs well with the venison. There may be a temptation to cheap out on the wine, but a good wine adds a great deal to the flavor, plus you can drink the remainder of the bottle with the stew. Enjoy!
- 3 pounds venison/elk stew meat, cubed
- Cooking oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 5 tbs. flour
- 1 Walla Walla sweet onion, chopped
- 3 ribs of celery, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary or fresh leaves, chopped
- 2 cups good red wine ($15-$20 bottle)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 ½ tsp. chopped garlic (5 cloves)
- 1 1/2 quarts beef stock
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cubed
- 2 turnips, peeled and cubed
- 4 medium red potatoes, unpeeled cubed
- 1 cup frozen or canned sweet peas
- Flat leaf parsley for garnish
- Sour Dough bread and butter
Add cooking oil to large Dutch oven. Salt and pepper meat to taste and toss in half of the flour (save remaining fluor for later). Brown meat at medium heat. Remove from Dutch oven and set aside.
Add more oil to the pot. Add chopped onion, pinch of salt, bay leaf, rosemary and celery and sauté until onion turns translucent; lower heat if necessary to avoid burning. Add the tomato paste, remaining flour and garlic. Sauté until mixed thoroughly.
Add wine and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release brown bits. Allow wine to simmer and reduce by one quarter. Stir frequently. Return browned stew meat to the pot and pour in beef stock. Stir and bring to a low boil. Simmer covered for 90 minutes or until meat is tender.
Add the carrots, parsnips, turnips, and potatoes and continue to cook covered for another 30-45 minutes or until meat and vegetables become tender. For a thicker stew, simmer uncovered over the stove to reduce.
Season to taste and garnish with freshly chopped parsley. Serve with sour dough or crusty bread.