When autumn rolls around and the temperatures drop here in Maine, comforting recipes like the one below are what my body craves. Gone are the days of salads and cool, juicy vegetables. Slow cooking soothes the soul and nourishes the body from the inside out, preparing me for the winter ahead.
Thanks to some friends, venison came my way and paired with freshly leached acorns and my mushrooms dried from earlier harvests, this wild centric meal hits the dinner table with deep nutrition and a story that shares the love for the natural world.
Venison Stew w/ Wild Mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons rendered lard
- 1 large onion, cut into large chunks
- 3 carrots, cut into thick rounds
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 pound venison shoulder or hind leg, cut into large chunks
- 2-3 quarts stock, or water
- 2 ounces dried wild mushrooms (0r 2 cups fresh)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup acorn meal
- sea salt, to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons chopped sage, thyme, or rosemary
- Heat a 5-6 quart Dutch over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots, stir to combine, then sauté for a few minutes. Stir in the garlic, cook until fragrant.
- Stir in the tomato and allow it to cook out for 3 minutes or so, stirring as needed to prevent burning.
- Add the venison followed by the stock, mushrooms, and herbs.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, then partially cover, reduce the heat to medium, and slowly simmer for an hour or so, until the meat is tender.
- Add the acorn and cook for another 10 minutes before seasoning and serving.