When the weather turns, and winter starts to bring colder temperatures, it is time to think about hearty, comforting meals. A classic French venison stew recipe, which also happens to be quick to make, fits the bill perfectly. Not only is this dish easy to make, but venison is low in fat.
As venison is so lean, it works much better in recipes where it is marinated and cooked slowly which helps it develop flavors and prevents it from drying out. Red wine is the classic choice, as it imparts tastes that work so well with this meat. Here, the venison is marinated overnight in an herb and vegetable stock, along with the red wine. This helps add a ton of flavor and creates a melt-in-your-mouth texture while it simmers on the stovetop, and then slowly braises in the oven, filling your home with a delicious aroma.
Wild venison is (when available) strong in flavor, so if you are not a game fan, then look for farmed venison from an ethical source if you can. This stew is particularly good when served with a fresh green salad on the side, along with nd some crusty bread or mashed potatoes.
- 2 pounds venison (cubed)
- 1 cup yellow or white onions (chopped)
- 3 medium carrots (cut into 1/4-inch slices)
- 1/4 cup celery (finely chopped)
- 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 mushrooms
Gather the ingredients.
Put the venison, onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, and the herbs in a large glass bowl or casserole dish.
Pour the red wine and beef stock over the venison, cover, 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. Sauté 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.
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.