Venison Stew

Serves 6-8 This stew would work well with just about any stew meat, including beef, lamb, pork or any larger game animal. The idea is pretty much the same with any tougher, harder-working muscle: Sear and simmer in flavorful liquid until the connective tissues in the otherwise-tough meat are rendered tender while creating a flavorful reduction of cooking liquids as the meat cooks, yielding a sauce that is thick and rich. Any vegetables and seasonings can be added, giving an infinite world of possibilities. The following is pretty much a straight-up red-meat stew with the addition of some freshly foraged wild mushrooms.


  • 2 lb. Venison Stew Meat
  • 1 tsp. Cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp. Chile Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/2 tsp. Granulated Garlic
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 3 Tbsp. Neutral Oil
  • 2 Carrots, large, cut into 1” chunks
  • 3 Celery Ribs, cut into 1” chunks
  • 1 Onion, medium, cut into 1” chunks
  • 6 cups Wild Mushrooms, cut or torn into chunks
  • 2 Tbsp. (heaping) Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 bottle Red Wine, rich and full-bodied
  • 2 cups Potatoes, small such as red or white, halved
  • 6 cups Rich Meat Stock
  • To taste: Kosher or Sea Salt and Black Pepper, freshly ground
  • As needed: Wondra Flour, to thicken cooking liquid


In a large bowl, toss the meat with cumin, chile powder, black pepper, granulated garlic and salt. Set aside. Preheat a large cast-iron pot over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat through. Sear meat in hot oil, working in batches as needed so as to not crowd the meat, until brown all over. Add carrots, celery and onions, and cook until the vegetables are beginning to brown. Fold in mushrooms and cook until no longer raw. Add tomato paste and mix well. Cook, stirring often, until tomato paste begins to brown. Add red wine and stir well, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pot. Raise or move the meat to a place where the pot will keep just a slight simmer. Add potatoes and meat stock, then cover the pot. (Be sure the pot is not too hot that the liquid cooks away too quickly, but hot enough that it comes to a simmer quickly. ) Cook until meat, potatoes and vegetables are thoroughly tender, and the liquid is rich and flavorful. The potatoes will thicken the cooking liquid along with evaporation, but thicken the liquid further with Wondra Flour. Season, simmer for a few more minutes and serve. Enjoy with some crusty bread!  

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