Friday, May 24, 2013

Venison Stew

8 Servings
Recipe by Greg Patent/Relish Magazine
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

We were clearing out the freezer to make room for the summer fruit to come and, as it turns out, the fickle spring weather changed to autumn-like crisp coolness, so this Venison Stew made for a belly-warming dinner.  We especially liked the flavor combo of the hard cider, the peppers and the allspice.  I served it with a dollop of homemade Greek yogurt, Popovers with Gruyere Cheese, and Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Caper Vinaigrette.  This recipe is a keeper.  Lost River Market & Deli has everything you need to make a great stew (use the all-natural local beef as a venison substitute) including the hard cider.

pounds venison, cut into 1 ½ inch chunks (I used venison loin.)  (You could substitute stew beef.)
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole-wheat flour.)
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
olive oil or vegetable oil
2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 whole bay leaves
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
12 ounces hard apple cider or 1 ½ cups apple cider (I imagine you could substitute your favorite beer.)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 cups reduced-sodium beef or chicken broth, divided
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium bell peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (I used yellow peppers.)

Preheat oven to 325F.
Pat meat chunks dry with paper towels. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a paper or plastic bag. Add meat; close the bag and toss to coat the meat with flour.
Pour enough oil in a large skillet to cover the bottom. Heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, remove about half the meat from the bag, shaking off excess flour and add to pan in a single layer without crowding. Brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes.  Remove meat and set on paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining meat, adding more oil if necessary.
In a large Dutch oven, pour in a couple of tablespoons of oil.  Then add the onions and carrots and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to caramelize, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the meat to the onion/carrot mixture. Add garlic, bay leaves, thyme, allspice, cider, Worcestershire sauce and 2 cups broth to the casserole; stir. (The liquid should barely cover the meat.)  Bring to a simmer on top of the stove; cover the pot and place in oven.  Cook 2 to 3 hours, until meat is barely tender.
Bring remaining broth to a boil. (I used a microwavable measuring cup and brought the broth to a boil in the microwave.)  Add to stew along with potatoes and bell peppers. Stir, cover pot, and return to oven to bake about 1 hour, until meat is completely tender and potatoes are cooked.

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