By Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley
Mmm … carrots, potatoes and venison stew meat. Feast on this classic stew recipe with an extra draught of flavor: the full, coffee-like aroma of a dark stout beer. This hot, filling meal will melt any chill after a long day of hunting, working or playing outside. And as with any stew, it tastes even better when prepared ahead. Make a large batch on the weekend, then reheat and serve throughout the week for a satisfying dinner.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours
- 1 ½ pounds venison stew meat
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ to ⅓ cup flour
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 ribs celery, cut into large sections
- 1 bottle of stout beer (12 ounces)
- 1 quart (32 ounces) of beef or chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 4 to 5 yellow potatoes
- 3 carrots
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- Chopped parsley, to garnish
- Remove large, thick layers of silver skin from venison, but leave the rest on. Cut venison into large pieces and sprinkle with salt. In a pot, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil over medium to medium-high heat. Lightly coat venison pieces with flour and brown in the oil in batches. Place browned venison on a plate and set aside. Reserve leftover flour.
- Lower heat to medium. Add more oil to the pot if necessary. Add chopped onion, bay leaf, celery, thyme and a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally and sweat for about 5-7 minutes, or until onion turns translucent. Add 2 tablespoon of leftover flour to the vegetables and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Next, add the stout. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to deglaze. Allow stout to bubble for about 5-7 minutes so some of the alcohol can evaporate. Next add the broth, water and return the browned venison into the pot. Cover and allow stew to simmer on low for 2 hours.
(I had saved an end piece of a venison shank full of joint cartilage. Although not necessary, I added it into the pot for more flavor.)
- After 2 hours, the venison should begin to become tender. Skim off any foam that may have floated to the top of the stew. Wash carrots and potatoes thoroughly and cut into large pieces— you don’t have to peel them. Add them to the stew, cover the pot again and simmer for an additional hour.
- When meat and potatoes are tender, add Worcestershire sauce, paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Leave the pot uncovered and simmer for an additional 15 minutes to thicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley.
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