Spring is gearing up to jump out at us, and we are more than ready, however the reality is that the temps are still a bit cool, especially morning and evening, to enjoy the warmth anywhere but our imaginations. So keeping with the winter months, today’s post is a delicious Winter Warmer.
What I love about Winter Warmers or stews and chowders, is that the recipes can be easily modified to fit your flavor. You have a base, then add what YOU like in to the recipe. Sometimes, your pantry, garden or local market place can inspire you to whip up new and fantastic dishes. As you read through the recipe, keep in mind this is a basic, generic, venison stew. I generally fill my pot to the brim with as many vegetables as possible. Canned or frozen green beans and corn are a delightful addition, although when available, I purchase fresh from the market, cut the corn from the cob, lightly steam both corn and beans in separate pots.
I have an asparagus lover in the fam and add that to the stew last, perhaps 15 minutes before serving. I steam them first, slice, then add to the pot. I have a friend who slices the veggie in to two-inch pieces and adds hers to the venison while it’s browning with a slice or two of bacon ( delicious ) and adds to the pot an hour before serving.
Basic Venison Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds venison stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 pound button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups veal or beef stock, at room temperature
- 1 small white onion
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 pound small red or new potatoes, quartered
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Set a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan and season the venison with 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper. Sear venison (in 2 batches) in the saute pan for about 2 or 3 minutes per side.
Add the butter, mushrooms, flour, veal or beef stock, tomato paste, herbs, spices, and browned meat to a slow cooker. Cover the slow cooker and set the temperature to high. Cook for 1 hour. Add potatoes and carrots and continue to cook the stew for another 7 hours. Once the stew is cooked, stir in the beans, peas, corn or other vegetables you have chosen and parsley and serve immediately.
Asparagus cleaning and cooking, tips and tricks click here
A thick crusty bread and a hearty red wine, completes this robust Winter Warmer.