in the world i see – you’re stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of rockefeller center. you’ll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. you’ll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the sears tower. and when you look down, you’ll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighway.
i don’t compliment myself often, but this is probably one of the most delicious things i have ever cooked in my life. (and i have someone to back me up on that!) if i close my eyes i can still smell the deep, earthy aroma of the dish, and you will be so amazed at how tender the meat becomes after an hour or two of braising in the oven. this dish is also very economical, and very easy to make, though the results will make anyone think they’re eating at a five star restaurant. venison stew meat is available at various farmer’s markets and specialty meat markets. if you live in NYC, i recommend the union square green market.
2 lb. venison stew meat, cut in large pieces
1/4 lb crimini mushrooms, cut in quarters
1 yellow onion, large dice
2 carrots, large dice
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup hearty red wine
salt, pepper, and desired herbs (i used herbes de provence) to taste.
1/4 cup olive oil and/or butter, separated
preheat oven to 275’
over a medium high heat, warm 2 tbs. oil or butter in an oven proof pan such as a dutch oven. season venison with salt and pepper and brown on all sides (about 3 minutes per side). remove from pan and set aside. add remaining oil or butter to pan, add mushrooms and sauté until browned. add garlic, onions, carrots, and cook for another 10 minutes, until onions become translucent. turn up the heat and add red wine, stirring to deglaze the browning on bottom of pan. bring wine to a boil. after two minutes, add the venison back into the pan. cover with lid and transfer to the oven. allow the venison to braise in this liquid for at least an hour, or up to two. after an hour or so check the meat and add some water if you see that the liquid is evaporating quickly.
serve over whole grains such as brown rice or quinoa, or roasted or mashed potatoes for a hearty meal. this dish is delicious reheated the next day, and can be paired with kale, chinese spinach, or collard greens for a complete dish. serves two, with leftovers.