Monday, December 7, 2009

Italian-Style Venison Stew with Egg Noodles

This is a recipe I don't expect a lot of my readers to actually try. However, my husband loves hunting and was able to kill two large bucks this year. He gave the meat of one of the bucks to Hunters for the Hungry, but the other buck was butchered and all the different cuts of meat are now packed in our freezer. Our freezer is overflowing so I've been looking for recipes to start clearing it all out. So if you like venison, you're in a for a treat because a lot of my upcoming recipes will feature venison. Don't worry, I'll also be cooking other meals!

For our first venison recipe, I tried a pretty intense recipe from Emeril Lagasse. I had to start the recipe 36 hours before I started cooking it to prepare the marinade, which was also pretty intense. Once it was all finished, the finished product looked great, but I wasn't really a fan of the taste. My husband loved it, which was the important thing, considering he is so proud of all the meat that he has. The marinade had too much vinegar in it for my liking. The gamey taste of the deer was definitely eliminated, but the vinegar taste really stood out. That was how the recipe was supposed to taste, so all in all, this recipe was pretty successful.

Source: Emeril Lagasse, 2003


3 pounds venison stew meat, such as round or roast, trimmed and cubed
4 cups dry red wine (I used a Cabernet)
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups chopped onions (divided)
1 cup chopped carrots (divided)
1 cup chopped celery (divided)
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cloves
8 parsley stems
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons juniper berries (I omitted these)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped (I used bacon)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces wild mushrooms, wiped clean and stems trimmed, or quartered button mushrooms
12 ounces wide egg noodles
Chopped parsley, garnish


In a large non-reactive bowl, combine the meat, wine, vinegar, 3/4 cup onions, 1/2 cup carrots, 1/2 cup celery, garlic, rosemary, thyme, cloves, parsley stems, bay leaves, juniper and peppercorns. Stir to combine, cover, and marinate 24 to 36 hours, refrigerated.

Drain the meat thoroughly, reserving the liquid, and pat dry.

In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until brown and the fat is rendered. Remove and drain on paper towels. In batches, add the drained meat and cook, stirring, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan. Add the remaining onions, carrots, and celery, and the minced garlic. Cook, stirring, until soft. Add 1 cup of the reserved marinade and bring to a boil, stirring to deglaze the pan. Return the meat and bacon to the pan and add enough marinade to come halfway up the sides of the meat. Reduce the heat, cover slightly, and simmer until the venison is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours. (The cooking liquid should reduce and thicken as the meat cooks, yet add additional liquid should be added as needed to keep the meat halfway covered during cooking.)

In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender and starting to brown. Remove from the heat and reserve.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the egg noodles and cook until al dente. Drain well and return to the pot. Toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

To serve, place the egg noodles in a large serving bowl. Top with the stew and arrange the cooked mushrooms over the stew. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

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