When the weather turns, and winter bobs its head up, then it is time to think about hearty, comforting meals. Something along the lines of a Classic French Venison stew recipe - which also happens to be so quick and easy to make - fits the bill perfectly. Not only is this dish easy to make, but it is also extremely low in fat making it lean yet with no loss of any flavor.
Wild venison is (when available) very strong in flavor, so if you are not a game fan, then look for farmed venison from an ethical source if you can.
As venison is so lean, it works much better in recipes where it is marinated and long, slow cooked. Choose your marinade carefully as this will add flavors to your stew with red wine one of the best options. The wine imparts tastes that work so well with this meat. Here, the Venison is marinated in a herb, vegetable-infused stock, and wine overnight to add flavor and melt in your mouth texture and then simmered into a quick stew which has the wine added back in.
- 2 pounds venison, cubed
- 1 cup chopped yellow or white onions
- 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 3/4 cup beef stock
- 5 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups cleaned mushrooms
Put the venison, onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, and the herbs in a glass bowl or casserole dish. Pour the red wine and beef stock over the venison and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight.
Drain the liquid marinade and reserve it for use later in this recipe.
In a large saucepan over high heat, cook the bacon until it turns crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
Pour all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the pan. Sautee the onions, carrots, and celery in the bacon grease for 5 minutes, until the vegetables turn soft. Transfer them to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set it aside for a moment.
Toss the venison with the flour and brown it in the remaining bacon grease. Once all sides of the meat are browned, stir in the tomato paste and cook the mixture for 1 minute.
Add the mushrooms, cooked vegetables, crisped bacon, and reserved marinade liquid into the pan with the browned venison, and then cook the mixture over low heat, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The venison stew is done when the meat and vegetables are tender and the sauce is thickened.
Serve the casserole with simple, fresh, green vegetables and a spoon or two of lovely mashed potatoes to soak up the juices.
This easy venison stew recipe makes 4 to 6 servings.