Red Wine Venison Stew

By Food & Wine - Ray Isle

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 (4-pound) boneless venison or chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 7 to 8 tablespoons bacon drippings (from about 1 pound thick-cut bacon, cooked) or vegetable oil, divided
  • 8 thyme sprigs
  • 4 whole cloves, crushed
  • 8 juniper berries, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 (2-inch) lemon peel strips plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons), divided
  • 3 medium-size yellow onions, large diced (about 5 cups)
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and large diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 10 ounces sliced fresh cremini mushrooms (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 4 cups beef bone broth (such as Brodo)
  • 1 1/2 cups full-bodied, robust red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah)
  • Cooked egg noodles
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and sour cream, for serving
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss together flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; add venison, and toss to coat.

    2. Heat 2 tablespoons bacon drippings in a large Dutch oven over medium. Working in 4 batches, add venison, and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned, about 15 minutes per batch. Transfer venison to a plate. Add more bacon drippings, 1 tablespoon at a time, between batches as needed. (If necessary, deglaze the Dutch oven with water [save this water and return to pan when adding broth], and wipe clean. Then start next batch with 2 tablespoons bacon drippings.)

    3. Place thyme, cloves, juniper berries, bay leaves, and lemon peel strips in a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth; tie securely with kitchen twine, and set aside.

    4. Add onions, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, and remaining 2 tablespoons bacon drippings to Dutch oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, cheesecloth bundle, lemon juice, and browned venison along with any drippings accumulated on plate. Return to a simmer over medium-high; transfer to preheated oven. Braise, uncovered, until venison is fork-tender, about 2 hours, stirring in wine after 1 hour.

    5. Return Dutch oven to stovetop, and bring to a simmer over medium. Reduce heat to low, and gently simmer until sauce has thickened slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and skim and discard fat from surface of stew. Remove and discard cheesecloth bundle. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over egg noodles with parsley and sour cream.

    Make Ahead: Stew can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 days. Reheat gently before serving.


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