Have you ever cooked venison? For us, it's food that we imagine as part of a King's feast. Off-Island (we are told) its a luxury menu item. Here on Island, it's a winter staple. Part population control and part tradition, hunters stock multiple freezers full, share fresh cuts with neighbors and gift to those in need. In search of the perfect venison recipe, I turned to Brian Athearn, a local businessman, passionate hunter, and new president of the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society. If you can't find venison via a local hunter - get in touch, we might be able to hook you up :).
Brian Athearn's Venison Stew.
· 2-4 tablespoons olive oil for browning
· 2 pounds venison stew meat
· 2 lb Venison burger
· 3 large onions, coarsely chopped
· 4 garlic cloves, crushed
· 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
· 2 tablespoons of A1 steak Sauce
· 1 bay leaf
· 1 teaspoon dried oregano
· 1 tablespoon salt
· 1 teaspoon pepper
· 3 cups water
· 5 potatoes, peeled and quartered
· 2 Lbs of diced Parsnips
· 1 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
· I bag frozen peas
· 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or a few tblsp corn starch)
· 1/4 cup cold water
· I use one container of venison Demi-Glace in each batch that we make from the bones (or you can use a little Hoisin sauce)
Note: He uses a crock pot most of the time or a pressure cooker. So translate to dumping into cooker for that option.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or thick bottom pot. Brown meat. You can remove the meat and deglaze the bottom with a half cup of red wine. Add onions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, oregano, salt, pepper and water. Simmer, covered, 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender. Add potatoes and carrots and parsnips. Continue to cook until vegetables are tender, about 30-45 minutes. Mix flour and cold water; stir into stew ( you can use arrow root as well for gluten free). Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add browning sauce if desired. Add peas a the last minute and stir. Remove bay leaf.
Let us know how your stew turns out - will you share your pictures on Facebook?
Penned by the staff of Farm. Field. Sea. and inspired by the experiences of working with Martha's Vineyard's chefs, farmers, fisherman, oyster cultivators, artisan producers and food educators.