Been hunting lately? Whether you've been out in the backwoods or getting adventurous at your local butcher, this northern-style venison stew recipe is delicious. It's a great way to transform your deer, elk, or moose venison stewing meat into an easy, delicious meal.
The ingredients are easy to come by whether you're a backwoods hunter or an urban foodie. Look for juniper berries, maple syrup, and sage. And the venison stew requires minimal attention while simmering. In addition, venison is leaner and has more protein than beef.
Related: Ptarmigan Stew Recipe
Venison Stew Recipes to Serve a Crowd
Although this recipe makes eight to ten servings, you can easily stretch it out to feed a crowd. Just add extra broth and spices. Then top it with your favorite homemade dumpling recipe.
Tip: This venison stew recipe works best when using an 8-litre cast-iron dutch oven. It's going to simmer at about 300 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 4 hours, so you want it to be in a large, sturdy pot.
Which Cuts of Venison to Use
When choosing your stewing meat, you don't want to use your prime cuts of meat.
Stews should be used for turning extra trimmings and less desirable cuts of meat into a tender, hearty meal. The lower part of the hindquarters provides excellent stewing meat as well as parts of the front legs.
Even if you don't usually use the shanks, start adding them to your stewing pile. Meat that has a lot of tendons, sinew, and connective tissue makes ideal cuts to use in stew preparation.
This is because as the meat cooks, the tissues dissolve into the stew, adding richness and flavor. At the same time, the meat will tenderize to a more palatable texture.
Northern Hearty Venison Stew Recipe
- 2 pounds of venison stewing meat, or a comparable cut
- ½ pound of pork bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 bunch of celery, diced into ¼ inch slices
- 2 yellow onions, peeled and diced
- 3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1.5 litres of beef broth/stock
- ½ bottle of red wine (roughly 375 ml)
- 6 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoon maple syrup
- 15-20 juniper berries
- 20-30 leaves of finely chopped fresh sage or 6 tablespoon dried
- 20-30 sticks of finely chopped fresh thyme or 6 tablespoon dried
- 6-12 fresh bay leaves
Instructions for Northern Venison Stew Recipe
- Set oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Begin by cutting the venison into 1 - 1.5-inch pieces. Wrap the pieces in a clean dish towel. I do this with most red meats before cooking, as I find it helps to draw some of the less desirable juices from the meat and leads to a better-tasting result.
- Using a large cast-iron or stockpot (over 6 liters), cook the bacon pieces over medium heat until well done (I prefer using a cast iron pot, as they retain heat better and are safer for use inside an oven).
- Remove the cooked bacon and set aside. Leave the grease and fat, it will help offset the very lean qualities of venison.
- Remove the venison from the cloth, and heavily salt all pieces. Brown them in the bacon grease on medium heat.
- Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.
- Combine the celery and onion in the pot, and saute on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Add bay leaves.
- Sprinkle in half of the sage and half of the thyme.
- Add beef broth and wine.
- Add the browned venison and stir.
- Bring the stew to a low boil.
- Add juniper berries. I use a spice bag to hold the berries while in the stew so that it is easier to remove the berries before serving.
- After boiling for a few minutes, a thin foam will appear on the top of the stew. Gently skim this off with a wooden spoon or ladle and dispose of it.
- Cover the stew and place in the oven at 300 degrees for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, add the potatoes, parsnips, and the remaining sage and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Return to oven for one hour.
- Remove lid, and place the pot on stovetop burner at medium-high heat.
- Add red wine vinegar and maple syrup.
- I personally prefer a thicker stew, so I leave the stew boiling uncovered to reduce it. If you're planning on adding dumplings, keep in mind that they need quite a bit of excess liquid in the stew, and will absorb it anyway. If you're not a fan of dumplings, you can continue boiling or use a flour/cornstarch mix to thicken. Just make sure not to overcook or burn the stew.
Nutrition InformationYield 15 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 395Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 73mgSodium 453mgCarbohydrates 42gFiber 9gSugar 20gProtein 31g