A few weekends ago when we visited my family in upstate New York, we were lucky enough to procure a bunch of different cuts of venison, via my step-mom (who doesn’t care for the meat), by way of my uncle (who hunts). For those of you following, you’ll know that Scott and I have been heavily carnivorous lately as we’ve been keeping (for the most part) a paleo lifestyle. Part of the paleo way is to get important nutrients and energy from game meat, because the fats in wild and grass-fed animals contain a higher level of good omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, there’s the warm and fuzzy feeling of knowing your dinner had a nice life of frolicking through the forrest and befriending bunnies before he ended up on your plate. For more technical info though, here’s what Mark’s Daily Apple has to say about grass-fed meat and Omega-3s.
Anyway, so we have a lot of venision, yum!! The first thing we decided to do was to make a simple and hearty venison stew using the package of pre-cut stew meat, and butchering the meat off of the leg portion we were given. We ended up with about 4 pounds of lean and delicious looking meat, and one big ol’ leg bone which I wrapped up and put back in the freezer for later use (possibly a real delicious soup stock). This recipe is pretty basic as far as stews go, with the exception of omitting the flour that would usually thicken the broth (thin broth is still tasty!). So don’t be afraid if you haven’t tasted venison yet, you’re missing out! After letting this dish simmer for about 3 hours, the gamey taste will subside and I assure you a delightful meal will be had.
- 4 lbs venison meat, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 lb cippolini onions, stems trimmed off and peeled but root left in tact
- 1 lb small cremini mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
- 1 lb bag of carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Kosher Salt
- 3 TBSP Coconut Oil
- 2 1/2 Cups dry red wine
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 1/2 Cups beef broth
- 1/4 Cup tomato paste
- 6-8 sprigs Fresh Thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Sprinkle venison generously with kosher salt and toss to evenly distribute. Heat coconut oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place meat in the pot in one layer, being careful not to overcrowd the pieces, and sear on both sides (about 2 minutes per side). When the meat is ready to flip, it should remove from the pot easily; If its stuck, let it be for a few more minutes and try again. Remove seared meat from the pot and set aside in a clean bowl.
Once all your meat is seared, deglaze the pot by pouring in the wine and stirring to release the browned bits. Then add in the garlic, broth, and tomato paste, stirring until everything is blended. Put the meat back into the pot, along with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl. Add in the onions, carrots, and thyme, and bring to a boil.
Once you’ve reached a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Let your stew simmer for 1 1/2 hours, then add in the mushrooms, re-cover, and continue to simmer for another 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lid for the last 20 minutes to allow the broth to reduce a bit.
Season your stew with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!