Not many foods can thaw a cold winter chill like a hot hearty stew made from meat with an animal you have taken. This is how I built my last batch of elk stew, courtesy of an animal taken this October in Colorado with the Burris
Steve’s Slow-Cook Venison Stew:
In a large slow cooker, add the ingredients in the following order:
A few carrots cut into one inch pieces, or baby carrots.
A few ribs of celery in one inch pieces
Several red potatoes cut into one inch chunks
A few parsnips cut into one inch chunks (this is a secret that really takes stews over the top)
A cup or two of chopped onions (I use both red and yellow)
Lots of chopped garlic
A few bay leaves
A couple tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
A tablespoon or so of dried thyme (one of my favorite herbs, always dried from my garden)
A tablespoon or so of dried basil (from my garden)
Black pepper to taste ( I like pepper so I put in a couple tablespoons)
A couple pounds of any well trimmed venison cut into one inch pieces
A couple large cans of whole tomatoes with juice (I use our frozen garden cherry tomatoes)
Several cans of beef broth
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cold water
You can determine your own exact recipe according to your tastes, and size of cooker. Remember to crush the herbs to release more flavor. Do not stir the pot. Make sure the fluid covers all the ingredients and is pretty close to the top of the cooker. Put the temperature on low and forget about it for 8 or 10 hours.
Scoop out the meat and vegetables and place in a large covered serving bowl, leaving the liquid in the cooker. Discard the bay leaves. Turn cooker to high and cover it. Whisk the flour and water in a small bowl until smooth. Add a cup of the cooking liquid and mix well. Stir the mixture into the cooker and mix again. Keep it covered and cook for 15 minutes. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables and enjoy with a hearty crusty bread. I always make wheat bread from scratch to go with this special treat. The stew freezes well. I have used variations of this recipe with whitetail, mulies, pronghorn, caribou, and now elk. It’s a simple recipe that you can modify to your desires.
I took the preceding picture last night from some thawed leftovers. It was accompanied by raw cow’s milk french bleu cheese with seasoned rye crackers, 12 grain bread and cold grape juice. Life is good. Enjoy!