I know it is hot as Hades out there! At least, here in Texas it is, but we’ve got to start thinking about deer season, fall comfort food and the holidays whether we like it or not! Fall starts in two, (yes that’s right!) days! Now, I’m sure where I live the thermometer will hit 100 degrees that day, but that doesn’t mean that deer hunting season, Thanksgiving or Christmas are gonna wait for the temps to drop around here before they show up on the calendar! So, I’m going to focus the blog on good ‘ole comfort food, soups, stews and holiday favorites. I promise I’m going to try to keep you out of the kitchen by giving you some fast and easy recipes like the one above! The ingredient list may look long, but throwing it together is a breeze, then you just forget about it and let the slow cooker or the oven do the rest! How easy it that?
Now, if you’re lucky enough to have a big, good-lookin’ deer hunter in your family like I do (yes hubby, that’s you!), this is a great recipe for venison! If not, you can substitute beef and it’s just as delicious!
Since we’re talking about venison, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “I can’t stand deer meat! It’s so gamey tasting!” Well, I was taught by my Mama to be a polite Southern lady, so I have to bite my tongue to keep myself from telling them they’re probably processing it wrong to begin with and then cooking it wrong to add insult to injury! To be fair though, it does have a lot to do with how old the animal is, if it’s a male or female, what said animal has been eating, how it’s treated after it’s killed, etc. That’s a topic for hunter’s blogs. So, if this is an issue for you, research on the Internet is in your future. I can tell you, however, that you would be hardpressed to taste any gameyness in this stew recipe based on the spices used, the beef stock and red wine and the long, slow cook time. With all that said, here’s the recipe!
I make this in a slow cooker, but you can make it right in the Dutch oven you brown the meat in and finish cooking the stew in the oven as well. I like to serve this over creamy polenta for a hearty meal!
Yield: 6-8 hearty servings
2 pounds venison, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup flour
¼ cup vegetable oil
4 cups beef stock (I use Better than Bouillon concentrate whisked in 4 cups water)
1 cup dry red wine (Cabernet, Syrah, Zinfindel)
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 ½ pounds baby red potatoes, peeled, 1-inch cubes
½ pound carrots, peeled, cut in ½-inch sections
1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Sprinkle the venison with the salt and pepper. Dust with the flour.
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the meat in batches on all sides being careful not to crowd the pan. Remove the meat and place in the slow cooker, if using. (If using the Dutch oven method, remove browned meat and hold until all batches are done and return.)
- Add the beef stock and the next 7 ingredients to the meat. Turn the slow cooker on high and cook for 3 hours. (If using the oven, preheat oven to 350◦ and bake covered 3 hours or until meat is fork tender.)
- Remove the bay leaves and discard. Add the potatoes and carrots and continue cooking in the slow cooker another 2 hours. (In the oven, covered 1 hour or until vegetables are tender.)
- Add additional salt to taste, if necessary. Make a slurry out of the cornstarch and a small amount of cold water, mixing to eliminate any lumps. Add to the hot stew and continue cooking until the stew is thick and bubbly.
I really hope you enjoy this recipe! My hubby just loves it! It’s one of his favorites. He especially likes it when I serve it over hot, creamy polenta. Just follow the package directions for soft polenta. So delicious and it streches the servings on the stew also!
I look forward to sharing some of my favorite fall and holiday recipes with you in the coming weeks! I may just have to post more than once a week to get them all in. I have to post a disclaimer now that I will take no responsibility for your expanding waistline! Happy Cooking!