Venison and Red Wine Stew Recipe
Venison: What Is It?
Venison at one time was the generic name used to mean any one of a number of types of wild game. In modern times, however, it is generally used to describe only meat that has come from a member of the deer family—from red deer to moose to caribou.
The venison used in this recipe comes from farmed deer in the North of Scotland. Although venison of this type used to be fairly difficult to obtain, it can now commonly be found in vacuum packs in supermarkets at a fairly affordable price. Alternatively, venison packed in this way can be purchased from a variety of online retailers, with only the postage adding significantly to the price.
Ingredients (Two Servings)
- 3/4 pounds diced venison
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 medium closed-cup mushrooms
- 1/2 pint fresh beef stock
- 1/2 pint red wine
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Flat-leafed parsley for garnish (optional)
Venison is an extremely healthy option for the table as it is a meat very low in fat. The drawback in this respect, however, is that if it is not cooked properly and well, it can be extremely tough in texture.
- Pat the chunks of venison dry with some paper kitchen towel.
- Mix them through a couple of tablespoons of seasoned flour.
- Bring a tablespoon of olive oil up to medium heat in a large stew pot.
- Shake the excess flour off each piece of venison and add them to the pot.
- Stir for a couple of minutes to evenly brown and seal the meat.
- The two bell peppers should be quartered, de-seeded and cored. Each quarter should be halved across the way to form approximate 1" squares.
- The red onion should be halved again and split into leaves. All should be added to the browned venison and stirred around in the oil and juices for a couple of minutes.
- The red wine and stock should be added next, along with the bay leaf and the thyme. Season with salt and pepper but not too much, as the seasoning will be checked at the end of the cooking period.
- Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer and cover. Simmer for one and a half hours, stirring occasionally and ensuring that there remains plenty of liquid in the pot. The liquid in this recipe should not require topping up but if it does, add a little boiling water.
- After an hour and a half, I slice the mushrooms to a thickness of about a quarter-inch and add them to the stew. This is simply because I like them to retain a bit of body, rather than become too cooked down and mushy.
- The stew should be simmered for a further half-hour and is then ready to serve, with the chopped flat-leaf parsley as an optional garnish.
The venison stew can be served with potatoes, rice, or even simply as it is. I prefer, however, to serve it with garlic toast, as described further down this page.
How to Make Garlic Toast
This simple preparation can be made in minutes when the venison stew is actually ready.
A French-style breadstick should be sliced at a forty-five-degree angle to a thickness of one inch. The bread slices should be toasted on both sides under an overhead grill until beautifully golden.
A garlic clove should be peeled and very slightly crushed, simply to release the juices. As soon as the toast comes out from under the grill, the garlic clove should be rubbed over the top of each slice. The heat will cause its juices to permeate into the toast and give it a delicious, garlicky flavour.
The toast should, of course, be served immediately with a steaming bowl of the venison stew and eaten hot.