Thursday, December 11, 2008

Slow-Cooker Venison Stew

It's good to have family, however extended it may be, that hunts on a regular basis. Cathy's father-in-law offered me a few nice pieces of venison that he had stocked away in the freezer. I got three pieces. I've already used one. I still have one roast and another piece, I admit I'm not sure what cut it is, in my freezer.

What I did the other day with the first piece was a slow cooker stew. I bought some barbecue sauce and some veggies, admittedly planning to wing whatever I was going to make. But I wanted some guidelines, so I looked in my copy of Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann's Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook. I thought I'd find a recipe for a beef roast, and lo and behold, out of the index pops up this recipe for Venison Stew. On a hunch, I turned to the recipe and it turned out that I had all the ingredients for it.

As is always the case with recipes from cookbooks, I can't reprint it here. I will say that I cut the venison up into chunks, browned it in bacon drippings and threw it in the slow cooker. After adding various other veggies - carrots, onions, potatoes (these aren't in the recipe), etc, I dumped in some chicken stock (not beef) and white wine (not red, as the recipe suggests). I used chicken stock instead of beef because that's what I had. I used white wine instead of red because Cathy's father-in-law suggests using white wine when you cook venison, in order to remove its gamey taste.

Well, eight hours of slow cooking it in white wine and chicken stock (adding bacon and mushrooms five hours in) certainly did that! It also made it nice and soft. Plus, the balsamic vinegar I added at the end gave it a nice little tang.

Now I have enough venison stew to last me the rest of the week! Oh boy, deer meat for dinner, lunch - even breakfast!