Recipe: Warming Winter Stew
If you are living in the northeast section of the United States then you are right in the middle of the "polar vortex" as the news channels have so affectionately been calling our consecutive days of sub-zero temperatures. Whenever we have snow days, one of my absolute favorite things to do is cook and bake for my family. I immediately begin to plan out our meals and look for new recipes to try. For this past storm I decided to make a hearty Venison stew. My husband is a hunter so I often use venison when I make roasts and stews. For those of you who are unfamiliar or even leery of venison as many people are, I would like to reassure you that it is both delicious and healthy for you and your family. To learn more, Wikipedia offers this definition:
"Venison may be eaten as steaks, tournedos, roasts, sausages, jerky and minced meat. It has a flavor reminiscent of beef, but is richer and can have a gamey note. Venison tends to have a finer texture and is leaner than comparable cuts of beef. However, like beef, leaner cuts can be tougher as well....Venison is higher in moisture, similar in protein and lower in calories, cholesterol and fat than most cuts of grain-fed beef, pork, or lamb. Venison has enjoyed a rise in popularity in recent years, owing to the meat's lower fat content. It can often be obtained at less cost than beef by hunting (in some areas a doe license can cost as little as a few dollars); many families use it as a one to one substitute for beef, especially in the US mid-south, Midwest, Mississippi Valley and Appalachia. In many areas, this increased demand has led to a rise in the number of deer farms".
Warming Winter Stew
(serves 10-12 people generous portions)
You will need:
Beef or Venison cubes
Yukon Gold potatoes cut into cubes
2 packets of slow cooker stew seasoning
*Note this is a slow cooker recipe so allow for about 30 minutes or so of prep time and 3 cooking hours.
1. Pour 2 cups of beef broth into slow cooker and let it warm on HIGH.
2. Cube the meat and add to the broth along with a ½ packet of the slow cooker stew seasoning
3. Let the meat cook in the seasoned broth for approximately 10 minutes
4. Cut the potatoes, onions, mushrooms, carrots and celery into bite-sized pieces
5. Separately on the stove, add about 2 cups of beef broth to a medium sized pot and sauté the mushrooms and onions together for about 15 minutes
6. Add all the vegetables to the meat in the slow cooker
7. Pour in the remaining beef broth
8. Add the remaining seasoning packet and an additional second packet to the slow cooker broth, as well as 2 and ½ cups of water (follow directions on the back of the packet).
9. Mix everything together, place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for approximately 3 hours.
10. Spoon into bowls and serve with warm crusty bread and enjoy!