Saturday, January 11, 2014

Venison Stew

Be prepared for a lot of venison recipes this coming year. In my opinion, venison is the perfect meat. High in protein, flavor, and we have a ton of it in our freezer! This recipe is as simple as venison stew gets, and that is probably why it is so good. I didn't have any sort of potato to put in it, so instead chose to serve it over polenta, which was different and quite tasty. However, I would usually throw in some potatoes or sweet potatoes to round it all out. 

I had about a pound and a half to 2 pounds of venison leg chops. I just cubed it up, seasoned it, and put it in my NEW Cuisinart cooker. It is more than a crock pot, but I call it my crock pot. What makes it so great is that I can brown ingredients right in the main compartment! It gets hot enough to saute meat, onions, veggies, whatever, and I don't have to dirty a skillet or lose those great flavors that end up at the bottom of a pan. 

Venison tends to steam a lot when you cook it because it has a lot of moisture. I brown it until all the water evaporates, and the meat gets a nice brown color.

Then I add a chopped onion, a bay leaf, and some paprika. I seasoned the meat with salt and pepper, so I save the rest of my seasoning for the end.

Another good addition to this would be some mushrooms.

I poured about 2 cups of water over everything and gave it a stir and set it on high for 2 hours. After the two hours, I added celery and carrots, chopped into pretty large pieces and set it again for another 4 hours. Venison is great, but it can be tough due to lack of fat. If you cook it for a nice long time though, it comes out absolutely perfect and delicious.

An hour before you want to eat, add a cup of wine to the stew to thin it out a bit and give it great flavor. I cook with wine about every day because it gives so much to a dish.

IT got dark out before we ate, so these photos aren't so great, but you can see how hearty, warm, and comforting this is. It is so healthy too, something that tends to be lacking in most "comfort" foods.

Venison Stew

1 1/2 to 2 lbs venison chops, steaks, stew meat, whatever, cubed
salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
2 cups water, possibly more
1 cup wine of your choice
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped carrots
2 potatoes, chopped (not shown in my stew)
more salt and pepper to taste

Season venison with salt and pepper. Brown venison until it has a rich color on the outside. Put in crock pot with onions, paprika, bay leaf, and water. Turn to high and set for about 2 hours (this is all very flexible - just make sure the meat cooks for at least 6 hours). Then add in the celery, carrots, potatoes, and wine. Cook an additional 4-10 hours, and the venison should be fork tender. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

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