Wild meat is a real treat and this warming venison stew with mushrooms matched with an Irish champ is an Autumnal treat to keep you warm.
Venison Stew With Champ!
I’m back pushing the wild meat again today and this venison stew really is a wonderfully simple dish that tastes a million dollars.
Just like my recent wild boar stew I am not aiming to convert people to using wild meats all the time! I’m just saying they are out there, they taste great and really they are not difficult to cook with at all.
For us at this time of year wild meats are relatively easy to get our hands on. It even being available in major supermarkets and not just from the hunter or butcher.
As a cook, I find that incredibly exciting.
Growing up in the UK I rarely saw venison on a menu and even now it only seems to appear on very ‘chefy’ menus.
But what could be more homely than a stew?
Venison is an incredibly lean meat so if you are roasting it then careful cooking is needed. It can have a tendency towards drying out.
But this recipe for venison stew has much more leeway as it simmers away in a beautiful red wine sauce. It is joined by loads of black pepper and the fragrant aroma of juniper berries.
It feels very ‘regal’ for such a humble dish. In fact, I have a Venison Burger coming your way soon that is just as regal yet humble!
What To Serve With Venison Stew.
As for the side, there ain’t really a lot to say, mashed potato and spring onions.
Or champ as the Irish would call it, in the modern food world of low carb, paleo, gluten-free, trendy ingredient bullshit we often forget the most magical of ingredients.
I doubt that the humble ‘spud’ would ever be referred to as a superfood. However, as far as I am concerned any vegetable that is as diverse as the potato ain’t just super it is positively bloody magical!
So for this venison stew recipe a nice helping of buttery mashed potato with some fresh spring onions from the garden. Most importantly don’t skimp on the butter, it is good for your ‘soul’.
I almost always bake my potatoes for mash, it keeps the moisture content in the potatoes low which means I can put in more butter. Seriously, you will have perfect mashed potatoes every time. They will make any stew so much better, r even something like this coq au vin!
It also means I get the potato skins to freeze or save for another day. Stuffed with whatever is good in the fridge. Think bacon, cheese & spring onions, or even leftovers of this stew put back through the oven to bake.
In Other News.
I am definitely feeling a bit photo’d out at the moment. This Venison stew is the fourth recipe I have cooked and photographed this week. I try and keep between 3-4 recipes ahead of my posting schedule.
It means I have a little leeway just in case a photo shoot does not go to plan or if something comes up I had not thought of.
The visit of my mother in law meant that I used up all of my ‘bank’ recipes. I am starting from scratch, which ain’t a problem in itself as everything has gone remarkably well.
My self-imposed 5-minute photography rule has not been stretched at all. It does, of course, help that these recipes are ones I have cooked dozens of times and recipes I love.
So the only question I have is that of presentation as opposed to flavours.
I guess this is a little insight as to how I work and produce my images. A photoshoot for me takes no longer than 5 minutes at the very most. That is of course after the food has been plated.
Before that, I spend a while setting up my lighting and taking test shots to make sure I am pretty much where I want to be. After that, it is as quick as possible.
You see I cook stuff like this venison stew because I want to eat it.
My food is to be enjoyed not primped and poked. It also means what you see is what you get, my food is always presented in te way I eat it.
Apart from my bean burger recipe, of course, I rarely set fire to my dinner table!
For the Stew
- 500 g Venison Shoulder
- 300 ml Red Wine
- 1/2 Tsp Juniper Berries
- 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper Corns
- 1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Tsp Dried Rosemary
- 1 Tbsp Plain Flour
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- Good Grind of Black Pepper
- Oil for Frying
- 200 g Onions
- 300 ml Beef Stock
- 250 g Button Mushrooms
For the Champ
- 1.2 kg Large Baking Potatoes
- 6-8 Spring Onions
- 50 ml Milk
- 150 g Butter
For the Stew
- Cut The Venison into large 3-4cm chunks.
- Marinade the venison in the red wine, juniper (lightly crushed), thyme, rosemary and pepper mix over night.
- If you are marinading the meat remove from the marinade (reserving for later) and dry thoroughly.
- Now season the meat with a salt and pepper and sprinkle over the plain flour and fry it off in batches until nicely coloured. Do this in the pan you are going to cook the stew in and use any flavourless cooking oil for this purpose (enough to just coat the bottom of the pan).
- Slice the onions into half moons and into the pan and cook until nicely coloured, about 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
- Once the onions are coloured up, turn up the heat to high and add the Worcestershire sauce and marinade and reduce this mix by 2/3rds scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the goodness from the meat we fried earlier.
- Return the venison to the pan and add in the beef stock and reduce the heat to as low as possible, partially cover the pan and cook for 90 minutes or until the meat is just soft, check for seasoning before leaving to cook.
- After 70 minutes fry up the button mushrooms (cut into bite size pieces if required) in a little oil and then add to the stew and cook for the remainder of the cooking time.
For the Champ
- Preheat your oven to 200°C 400°F.
- Bake the potatoes in the oven for an hour and a half.
- About 10 minutes before the potatoes are cooked melt together the milk and butter and gently poach the sliced spring onions.
- Scoop out the centre of the potatoes freezing the skins to stuff with other goodies later and put through a potato ricer, you can of course mash my hand if you wish.
- Mix in the milk, butter and sliced spring onion mix and check for seasoning before serving.
I say this is for 4 as it will serve four easily, however as with all stews they are better re-heated so this 4 consists of myself and my wife over two days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 989 Total Fat: 41g Saturated Fat: 23g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 14g Cholesterol: 223mg Sodium: 733mg Carbohydrates: 87g Fiber: 11g Sugar: 11g Protein: 59g