Monday, February 18, 2013

Venison Stew

I used to be a vegetarian. It's true! In fact, I was even a vegan for some time in college. I don't regret it...I had good reasons. I still have good reasons, only now I have found ways to eat meat that I am OK with. See, I don't eat meat unless I know where it came from. Unlike most people, I want to see the dead animal. I want to know how it was raised, what kind of life it had, what was put into its body, and how it was killed. I just don't trust the meat at the grocery store. All those hormones they give the animals to make them bigger and fatter scare me to death. Then there are the conditions in which they live. And the way they are killed. Lets just say, it makes me sick.

 So I eat wild game. I will eat other meat if I know where it came from and how it was treated, and once a month if we go to a friends' house or out to dinner I may order some meat just to feel treated. Mostly, though, I eat venison, pheasant, duck, fish, and goose. I have hunter friends and family that supply me with this lean, protein rich source of food. I think that hunting for food is a much more humane way to get dinner than to buy the stuff at the store. The wild game I eat had a good life and a fair chance at survival. That slab of sirloin you got from the supermarket never had a chance, or a good life.

Our family still eats about 75% of our meals vegetarian. Less in the summer when I can get organic meat from local farms. Mostly because I like it, and am familiar with it. Luckily we also have a nice chest freezer in our basement filled with all sorts of game.

One of my favorite ways to make venison is in the crock pot. Venison is very lean, and so it can be tough. Cooking for a long time makes it so tender. So here is how I make venison stew - a completely unprocessed meal that will give you lots of leftovers! This is my own recipe, but it probably doesn't stray too far from any beef stew recipe you can find out there.

I start by cubing the venison steak. There were 4 steaks - I'm not quite sure pound-wise how much I had. Maybe 1 1/2?

See how lean that is?
I brown the mean in some extra virgin olive oil to give it some color and a head start with the cooking process. While that is happening, I cut up my veggies:

2 onions, 3 carrots, 2 pieces of celery and 5 small potatoes. You can also throw in cabbage, green beans, other root veggies, etc. It is stew, do what you want!

I put all the veggies into the crock pot.


I then add the browned meat, and 4 cups of beef stock. I'll admit, I used store-bought organic beef stock here. Hey, I'm a work in progress! I'm sure coming soon I'll put up a post about making my own stock, but for now I had to use what I had in my pantry. I also threw in some parsley and oregano.

All stirred up!
Pop the top on and let her go! 3-4 hours on high, 5-6 hours on low. Then at the end I like to throw in some peas for some green color, AND some red wine. Red wine + red meat = yummies. I love cooking with wine!


And there you have it - hearty, healthy, warm, and completely chemical free.

Venison stew:

1.5-2 lbs venison steak, cubed
1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
3 large carrots, cut into discs
2 stalks of celery, chopped
5 small red potatoes, washed and cut into bite sized pieces
1 t dried oregano
1 T dried parsley (this summer I hope to have fresh herbs from the garden!)
4 cups beef or venison stock/broth
1/4 cup red wine - taste it to be sure its good
1 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste

Garlic would be another good addition. I didn't add it because Allisyn doesn't like it in my milk.

Brown the meat in the olive oil for about 10 minutes until it has some color. Put in the crock pot with everything up to the red wine and cook for 3-4 hours on high, 5-6  hours on low. Add the wine and peas and heat it through. Serve with nice crusty bread to soak up all that yummy broth!

2 comments:

  1. Yum! That looks delicious! I have never tried venison.

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  2. It tastes a lot like beef - just a little tougher :). It has a certaini flavor I can't really describe - ill try and bring you some next time I see you!

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