Venison or deer meat is one of the leanest, healthiest meats you can use. For some, the gaminess of the meat is off-putting, but when prepared well, venison has little to no gaminess and can be as tender as fillet mignon.

Venison stew

1. Most likely you’ve already butchered the deer into your favorite cuts. Select a 2 pound roast, be sure to remove any tendons and ligaments with a sharp boning knife. Cut the meat into bite-sized portions.

2. Chop 1 onion, 2 large carrots and about ½ pound of turnips with a good chef’s knife. (You can use potatoes, but turnips withstand the low and slow cooking better, and practically taste the same)

3. Prepare a flour mixture of 3-5 TBS of flour. Salt and pepper to taste. I find that the salt and pepper are better tasted after cooking when I actually season the meat prior to dredging in the flour. Dredge the meat in the flour mixture.
4. Put a bit of oil in a pan and brown the venison for about 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 325.
5. Remove the deer meat and set aside with your chopped vegetables.
6. Deglaze your pan with 2 cups of red wine, scrapping the bottom of the pan to lift any browned goodness that lies hidden. Bring to a boil.
7. Pour in 2 cups of beef stock, 2 sprigs of Thyme, and 1 bay leaf. Add vegetables and venison meat to the pot.
8. Bring back to a boils for about 5 minutes. You can either salt and pepper the stew at this point, or wait till it’s closer to done.
9. Place the stew in your oven for about 1 ½ hours.

The key to cooking wild game is to be patient, cooking low and slow, and to use some acidic liquid (red wine) or vegetable (tomatoes) or use a hand-held meat tenderizer. If you follow these basic rules, you’ll have a fantastic venison stew every time.

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