As the weekend approached, the weather man predicted a blue northern, and we anxiously packed our gloves, flasks, coats and long johns for our hunting trip. The memories of frosty cold mornings in my stand at dawn with a good hot cup of coffee just sitting, shivering and listening to nothing but the wind cutting through the tree branches make me remember the love I have for the outdoors. And then, I see a buck come into view and briefly forget about my cold feet as I become fixed on his every move. Back at the camp a fire is waiting to warm us up when we return and a pot of Venison Stew is on the stove simmering. Man, I can almost taste it right now!
This is a traditional dish that serves as a great meal all on its own. It can be baked in the oven if desired.
Photo: Bryan Slaven
Yields: 8 main-dish servings
Total Time: 2 hr 30 min
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 min
2 pounds of venison backstrap, and 2 pounds of boneless beef sirloin tip or chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 -inch chunks (2 pounds of lean eye of round or other type roast can be substituted for the venison, but you still need a total of 4 pounds of meat)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 large parsnips, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 ears of sweet corn, shucked and cut off of the cob fresh
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced thin-(this results in a smoother flavor)
1 large onion, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
10 small boiler onions peeled and left whole
10 small New potatoes, rinsed cleaned and quartered
2 tablespoons - all purpose flour
1- 29 0z. can diced tomatoes
2- 14 oz. cans of low sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 cup(s) dry red wine ( I really like the peppery taste of a Shiraz for the stew)
4 sprigs fresh or 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
½ teaspoon of ground Cumin
1 teaspoon dried or fresh basil
2 pints of fresh mushrooms, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 red bell pepper, sliced into 3/4 inch pieces
1/2 pound of fresh green beans, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 bag(s) (16-ounce) frozen peas
In 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven, heat oil on medium-high until hot.* Pat beef and venison pieces dry with paper towels. Add meat, in small batches, dont crowd the meat in the pan and cook 5 to 6 minutes per batch or until well browned on all sides. With slotted spoon, transfer beef to medium bowl.
* The meat pieces must be pat dry and not touching to brown properly.
To drippings in Dutch oven, add chopped onion, and cook over a low to med. heat for 10 minutes or until onion is browned and tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour, canned tomatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper; cook 2 to3 minutes, stirring. Add wine and heat to boiling, stirring until* browned bits are loosened from bottom of pan.
* The browned bits that form on the bottom of the pan add tremendous flavor. This is known as the fond.
Return meat and any meat juices in bowl to Dutch oven. Add thyme, basil, cumin and the rest of the vegetables, except the peas; heat to boiling. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until meat is fork-tender, stirring a few times*. Discard thyme sprigs if using fresh thyme. Just before stew is done, stir in peas and allow them to heat through for 4 to 5 minutes.
* If baking the stew, cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, stirring once.
Enjoy with some fresh Yeast rolls or biscuits. (Some like to serve the stew over egg noodles)