Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Venison Stew

Hi Everyone! Can you believe that we are halfway through January already?! I better get started on those new year's resolutions one of these days! But first, I have a special recipe to share with you all. I had never eaten venison, never mind cooked it, until I married my husband, who is a hunter. All of a sudden I had a freezer full of meat that I had no idea what to do with or what it tasted like! So over the past couple of years I've tried lots of different recipes, learned about the different ways to cook venison and came up with a couple dishes that have become some of our favorites! One of them is this Venison Stew. This is a great cozy winter dinner that's filled with vegetables and tender meat, all in a rich, flavorful sauce. If you've never tasted venison before, it does have a distinct flavor and tends to be pretty tough, but I've found that if you season it well and cook it long enough, it's very good (and you can hardly tell that it's not beef). It's also very lean, meaning that your stew won't be greasy at all. Here is how I make it...

VENISON STEW
*Serves 4*

YOU WILL NEED:
2 lbs venison, cubed
3 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
3 tbs tomato paste
5 - 6 cups beef broth
1/8 - 1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
A couple drops of Worcestershire sauce
4 carrots
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 tbs unsalted butter
Salt and Pepper


DIRECTIONS
1. Start by cutting your venison into about 1-inch cubes, drying them with a paper towel, then seasoning them with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, and add in the meat, browning it on all sides. You'll probably have to do this in a couple of batches so you can brown the meat in an even layer (don't crowd the pot, otherwise the meat won't brown well). Place all the browned meat on a plate and set it aside.

2. Next, in the same pot, saute the diced onions and minced garlic. Cook them until they are softened and translucent, and then whisk in the tomato paste and cook until you have a soft, creamy tomato paste-y mixture. (*Note: you only need a couple tbs of tomato paste, so just freeze the rest in a ziplock bag for future use!) Pour in the beef stock (I used about 5 cups, reserve 1 cup for later), Worcestershire sauce, sugar (I usually just use regular granulated sugar, but I have used light brown sugar before and it added a nice sweetness to the stew. If you prefer a slightly sweeter taste, add in more sugar than indicated), dried thyme and bay leaf and return the meat to the pot with all it's juices (that's where all the flavor is!) Bring the stew to a boil, then turn it down to a low simmer and cook for an hour and a half to two hours, until the meat has softened, checking on it occasionally.

3. While the meat cooks, peel and cut your carrots into chunks (you can also add other vegetables to the stew, I used peas and carrots here, but sometimes I use mushrooms too. If you are not serving this over mashed potatoes, you can also add in potatoes into the stew). Check on the meat, and if the stew is getting too thick, add in the rest of the beef broth. Then, add in the carrots and cook until they are tender (about 15 minutes), and add in the peas for the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Check the seasoning (add in more salt/pepper/sugar if you need to) and remove the bay leaf. To finish off the stew, I always add in a little bit of butter (1/2 tbs) and stir it in until it has melted. It just makes it extra rich and silky! Serve over mashed potatoes or with some crusty bread!


I hope you enjoy this stew if you are a venison lover, and if you have any great venison recipes that you love to make, let me know! I'm always looking for new ideas and ways to prepare it! Have a great rest of your week!
Happy Cooking, Everyone!
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12 comments:

  1. i've never eaten venison
    but would love to try it
    would love for you to share
    at Fridays Unfolded this week!

    Alison
    Nancherrow (formerly Stuff and Nonsense)
    just pinned your recipe
    in case someone gives me some!

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  2. We just restocked our freezer with venison. I made a venison meatloaf this week and it was tasty. I'm saving this recipe - it's hard to find good venison recipes! Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Hi Chelsea! I've never made meatloaf using venison, for some reason I can never get the ground venison to taste quite as good as ground beef (maybe it's because it's so lean?) I would love to know any tips you might have :) Thanks for stopping by, have a great week!

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  3. I have not had venison since I was a kid - but this stew looks fabulous

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    1. Thanks, Heather! It was a whole new cooking world for me :)

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  4. I've not had venison either...but this looks really tasty! Thanks for linking to the Weekend re-Treat Link Party! xo, S.

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  5. Popping over from Saturday Night Fever --This reminds me of childhood. It has been so so long since I've had venison. My dad used to hunt and my mom would make a similar tasty stew. Yum!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jamie! Glad it brought back tasty memories :)

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  6. The next time my boys bring me some Venison this will be a great recipe to try, it looks delicious. Thank you so much for helping us celebrate Three Years at Full Plate Thursday. Have a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! It's one of my favorite ways to use venison! Hope you have a wonderful week too :)

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