Venison Stew with Italian Herbs

So, it has been a while.  Apologies!  Last month, I promised you some venison recipes. I’m here to deliver.  On the last Saturday of Pennsylvania’s rifle season, I shot an antlerless deer.  That’s me, below, geeking out in the snow.

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My dad was kind enough to butcher the deer for me, and have it ready for me to pick up when we came home for Christmas.  I’ve made quite a few things with the meat thus far: tacos, chili, a pretty awesome roast that I should have photographed for blogging purposes, and this stew.

Venison Stew with Italian Herbs | A Nerd Cooks

It’s pretty amazing, if I do say so myself.  In fact, it would be perfect on a day like today (we’re having a snowstorm here in Baltimore).  The original recipe was found on The Iron You, and has been adapted slightly.  You could also use beef, or some other red meat, instead of the venison.

You’ll need:

  • 4 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 2 lbs venison stew meat, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Italian red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 lbs red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 3/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

While the oil warms, place the cubed meat, flour, and salt and pepper in a large zip top bag (you may need to do this in 2 separate bags) and shake.  Coat all of the meat with flour, and set aside.

Add the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic to the Dutch oven.  Cook for 5-6 minutes.  Once the vegetable mixture is golden, remove to a dish and set aside.

Return the Dutch oven to medium-high heat and add the remaining olive oil.  Add the venison and sear on all sides.  Transfer the meat to a bowl and set aside.

Deglaze the pot with red wine, bringing the wine to a full boil, making sure to scrape up all of the brown bits on the bottom.  That’s where the real flavor is.

Add the venison and vegetables, along with the beef broth, tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms, herbs, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to the Dutch oven.  Cover and cook on very low heat for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Serve on its own or over creamy polenta or mashed potatoes (I used polenta).


The Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast

I’ve decided that I need to make better use of my cookbooks.  This is why you’ve seen quite a few recipes from The Pioneer Woman lately.  I got her first cookbook two Christmases ago, and have been enjoying it, as you can see.  I treated myself to her newest cookbook, so you’ll be seeing some of those recipes eventually, 1 (18)

You’ll need:

  • 2 or 3 tbs olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 3-5 lb. chuck roast
  • 2 onions
  • 6-8 carrots
  • pepper
  • 2-2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 3 or 4 fresh rosemary springs
  • 2 or 3 fresh thyme sprigs

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

In a Dutch oven or large oven safe pot, heat 2 tbs of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Allow the pot to get really hot.  While it heats, prepare the roast.

Generously salt both sides of the roast.  I use kosher salt.  Set the meat aside.

Cut a couple of onions in half and remove the papery skins.  When the oil in the pot is hot, place the onions in there.  Let them brown for about 1 minute on each side.  Remove the onions to a plate.

Wash, but do not peel, the carrots.  Cut them into 2 inch pieces.  Toss them into the same pot, and toss them around until they’re slightly brown.  This will take about a minute or maybe a little more.  Remove the carrots to the plate with the onions.

Allow the pot to get really hot again.  Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot.

Pepper the roast to taste, and then place the meat in the pot.  Allow it to brown and sear (about 1 minute per side).  Then remove the meat to a plate.

Add about 1 cup of the beef broth to the pot and whisk, to deglaze the pot.  This will loosen up the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Brown bits = awesome flavor.

When most of the bits are loosened, put the meat back into the pot.  Slide the carrots and onions back in there, too.

Add some more beef broth, but only enough to cover the meat about halfway.  Tuck the fresh herbs into the pot, too.  Make sure to nestle them down into the broth.

Cover the pot and put it in the oven.  If your roast is 3 lbs., roast it for 3-3 1/2 hours.  If it’s 5 lbs., roast it for 4-5 hours.  When the cooking time is up, check for doneness.  A fork should be able to pierce the meat easily.

Put the meat on a cutting board and cut it up, slicing against the grain.

Serve with the carrots and onions, making sure to pour some of the pan juices over everything.  Pair with mashed potatoes, if you desire.  Eat!

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