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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wild Venison Stew with Blueberries and Roasted Chestnuts

     The great Canadian wilderness is home to many wonderful creatures.  The mountains, plains and  forests alike are all bountiful with plants and animals.  Venison is one wonderful animal that thrives here.  Here in Ontario Canada the government allows one week open to sportsmen to hunt venison.
   When my friend Gino told me he was going hunting for venison I actually got  excited because I knew I would be in store for a real treat.  Although venison is available to buy here, its not found in your everyday supermarket. As I expected, Gino came home with some phenomenal venison meat.

   I wanted to create a recipe that embraced the venison in terms of flavor and character.  The forests are also home to wild blueberries and chestnut trees which the deer love to nibble on so like the old saying goes.....if it grows together, it goes together.  The venison stew combines fantastic venison loin, chestnuts, blueberries,  root vegetables, fresh aromatic herbs and a rich sauce to braise it to perfection.

2 lbs venison meat cut in cubes
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup of red wine
1 cup roasted chestnuts
1 cup wild blueberries
1 cup dry porcini mushrooms
1 Tbsp butter
Fresh thyme, small bunch
Fresh sage, small bunch
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil
Add oil and garlic cloves to a hot pan and saute venison until nicely browned on all sides.
Remove from pan and set aside.

Saute carrot, parsnip and onion in the pan for 5 minutes then add venison meat back to the pan.
 Add the porcini mushrooms to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
Add the herbs to the pan , toss gently then add red wine and bring to a boil. 
Reduce heat to a simmer.
 Add the chicken stock to the pan
Cover pan tightly with a lid and simmer for 1.5 hours.
Strain the sauce, place only the meat back in the pan and place sauce in a small sauce pot.
 Place chestnuts and blueberries in the sauce pot with 1 Tbsp of butter and bring to a boil then simmer until reduced to a thick consistency approximately 10 minutes.  Season sauce with salt and pepper.

 Plate stew over polenta, pasta or rice, pour sauce on top and serve.
 If you have never tried venison or any game meat for that matter , I highly suggest you do.  Flavorful and tender, venison is absolutely fantastic and this stew can be adapted to any flavors you enjoy in a stew.  
 Photo courtesy of Gino Savaglio, Bolton Ontario Canada


Velva said...

Danny, this rocks. Venison is popular here in North Florida as the deer is so abundant. It is common to see deer in my yard. I have eaten venison numerous times but, I have never seen the beautiful array of flavors that you bring to the meat-that's amazing. Then you topped it off by serving over polenta. Wow.


Greg said...

Very cool, I just started cooking with venison, used blackberries with one dish. Stew is on my list and this looks fantastic.


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