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
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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