The holiday season might be over, but winter is still giving us reasons to celebrate! If you like skiing or being outside in the snow, my first and foremost recommendation for warming back up is hot chocolate. However, when you’ve exerted that much energy, a warm beverage isn’t going to fill your belly.
If you or anyone you know spent time hunting in the Finger Lakes this past season, you likely have some gifted venison in your freezer. My favorite thing to do with venison involves my adapted version of this French beef stew recipe from Katie at the Kitchen Door (a food blogger from Boston whose website, www.katieatthekitchendoor.com, I’m addicted to). This recipe, which serves 8, is the perfect way to warm up friends and family after a cold day outside. Enjoy!
Venison Stew with Red Wine
- 3 lb venison, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 (750-ml) bottle Bordeaux (or any rich, red wine)
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into rings
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 6-oz can tomato paste
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- olive oil
- 1 orange, washed well and cut into 8 wedges [Katie substituted grapefruit]
- Season meat with salt and pepper on all sides. Cover and marinate the meat in a big bowl with wine, thyme, bay leaves, carrots, orange, onion, and garlic, for at least 12 hours, though Katie and I both recommend a full 24 hours.
- Heat some olive oil over medium heat in a large stockpot. Remove the meat from the marinade and brown the pieces in the oil on all sides. Pour the entire marinade over the meat in the pot and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes. Skim any foam from the surface. Lower the heat to a simmer, stir in the tomato paste, and add 4 1/2 cups of water. Cover, and let stew on low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Let cook for 15 minutes on medium heat without the lid to thicken the stew.
- Best served over mashed potatoes.
Katie recommends adding the zest of the orange and the fruit of the orange separately, in order to avoid using any of the super bitter pith. She also includes black olives, which you can throw in to the pot about 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve it.
I originally halved this recipe, which means I had plenty of wine left over to have with dinner. Delicious!