My husband is a hunter. It’s his hobby, pastime, passion. He brings home the bacon in both senses. And I like the idea of getting some of our meat from the wild instead of a grocery store.
I was raised, however, in the era of the cleaned and washed, plastic wrapped, part-labeled meat package. Very neat and tidy with no confusion as to what piece of meat you have. To my dismay, the person who does the packaging of the meat my husband brings him is not too concerned with which part is which, there are no labels at all. Obviously, to him “parts is parts”.
He also apparently thinks we have a very large family, because he packages something like five pounds of meat together at a time. When I take it out of the freezer to defrost, I have to have a plan for a serious amount of meat. I usually have to let it thaw first to see what it is, though.
This time I was left with two large tenderloin-type pieces of venison. One I roasted in the oven, and the other I made into this Slow Cooker Venison Stew. You can substitute any kind of stew meat you prefer, of course. You do have to flour the meat and brown it before putting it in the slow cooker, which always bugs me a little since I try to avoid any extra dishes if I can. But I did it anyway this time because I know it makes the meat taste better and thickens the liquid. I used dried herbs this time and just reduced the amount by half. It is really flavorful and great for winter lunches and dinners. The next day I topped it with some shredded pepper jack cheese, and that made it even tastier.
Slow Cooker Venison Stew
makes 6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)
- 2 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled Yukon gold or red potato
- 2 cups cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 1 cup (1-inch) cubed onion
- 1 cup (1-inch-thick) slices celery
- 1 cup (1-inch-thick) slices carrot
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound venison tenderloin, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 cup brown ale (such as Newcastle)
- 1 (14-ounce) can less-sodium beef broth
Layer first 14 ingredients in an electric slow cooker.
Combine flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish; dredge venison in flour mixture. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add venison. Cook 4 minutes or until browned on all sides, turning frequently. Add venison to slow cooker. Pour beer and broth over venison. Cover and cook on low 7 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Discard bay leaf.