I don’t usually have many cravings, but if I do are usually one of the same 3 things:
- Something with melted cheese
- Something crispy (this might involve cheese as well)
- A warm and hearty stew
And yes, the above cravings happen in summer as well.
Although undeniably the warm stew is much more enjoyable in a cold winter night, so I tend to satisfy all my yearly cravings during autumn/winter when I usually make a stew (or soup) almost every week.
Mostly on Sundays. I don’t know why but a good filling stew makes me feel better on a Sunday evening. It’s a good end of the week-end, before going back to the same menial routine.
Since in the Netherlands I cannot easily find “unusual” meats as I could do in Italy, I usually make stews with pork or beef.
But during the holidays (Christmas and Easter), magically new and unusual ingredients start appearing in the supermarkets. I don’t know why, maybe the Dutch only like to experience new cuisines durings the holidays. Anyhow, these are the periods where I can finally go crazy and do all the things that I cannot do during the rest of the year.
So venison, duck, wild boar, (even cangaroo!) start filling up my fridge so that I can experiment or finally cook the dishes that I love, like this venison stew.
Where does Venison Stew come from?
Venison is mostly common in the north of Italy (especially in mountain areas), not so much in Tuscany. If you go skiing in the Alps you might easily find venison stew in the restaurant’s menu (or venison ragù, also delicious).
I haven’t eaten venison in a while and I was amazed by the tenderness of the meat in this stew and the amazing flavour that I couldn’t get with beef or pork. But of course you can use this same recipe with any other kind of meat.
This stew is really basic and simple, nothing fancy. Just a perfect recipe for a good winter dinner with the family.
- 300 g (10.5 oz) Venison
- 100 g (3.5 oz) Sliced Carrots
- 100 g (3.5 oz) Sliced Celery
- 100 g (3.5 oz) Sliced Onion
- 250 g (8 oz) Peeled and cubed Potatoes
- 2/3 glass Red Wine
- 4-5 Bay Leaves
- 1-2 twigs of Rosemary
- Beef Stock
- Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- 1/2 tbsp Juniper berries optional
- Cut the venison meat in big chunks (about 2.5cm / 1in) and coat them with flour.
- Warm the olive oil in a large pan and brown the meat on all sides.
- Add the carrots, celery and onion and cook for a couple more minutes.
- Pour the wine and let the alcohol evaporate then add the beef stock to cover the meat up to 5cm /2 in.
- Add the potatoes, rosemary, juniper berries and bay leaves and simmer at low heat for 1 to 2 hours. (Add more stock if necessary)
- Adjust with salt and pepper if necessary and serve.