Hunter’s Venison Stew

The Best Game in Town!

This week, Chef Andy Mueller, of Galley 57 Supper Club in Allouez, shares a recipe that’s sure to be a favorite!

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By now, you or someone you know has a freezer full of Venison.  After your 23rd Venison sausage stick you might be looking for another option on the dinner table.

The phrase “you are what you eat” is never more true than in the world of Whitetails, as they taste like…..well, they taste like what they eat.

Deer in the Northern, woodsy areas of Wisconsin have a distinctive “gamey” flavor because they dine on pine and fruits of the forest.  To our south, and in farming areas, they fill their bellies with corn to give the meat a sweeter, more subtle flavor.  If you know what they ate, you have a better idea of they will taste like.

Now that we are in full on frozen mode, comfort foods are what we want.  Something that fills the home with wonderful aromas of slow cooked comfort that can feel like a warm blanket to our soul.

With this recipe, you can substitute any type of meat you wish, but it’s a perfect platform for all things game:  Elk, Caribou, Wild Boar, Moose or any other big game you can think of.  The deep flavors that make up the hearty broth pair perfectly with any meat that isn’t as mellow as traditional beef we normally use.

About halfway through the cooking process, I use ground juniper berries.  I realize this is not your everyday pantry staple, but if you can find it at specialty shops or online, by all means use it.

Juniper, for lack of better imagery, is what makes gin smell and taste like gin.  It has a “piney” aroma and softens to a rosemary-like flavor as it deepens during the cooking process.  Without it, the stew is wonderful, with it, the stew is on another level in terms of layers of flavor. 

As with any good stew, patience is required, as tougher cuts of meat take some time at a lower temperature to become tender.  The wait is worth it, as your home will be filled with aromas that make you feel like you’re in a log cabin in front of a fire with snow gently falling in the forest.

Hunter’s Stew

In a large heavy bottom Dutch Oven or cast iron pot over medium to medium high heat add:

1 cup diced uncooked bacon

Saute bacon for several minutes stirring often.  As the bacon just starts to get crisp add:

2 cups diced onion
1/2 cup brown sugar

Turn the heat to medium.  As the sugar starts to dissolve and liquefy add:

4 cups venison roast, cut into 1 inch cubes

Season with:

1 tsp. salt
Generous amount of fresh cracked black pepper

Add to the pot:

1 cup red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp minced orange zest
1 tsp ground rosemary
1 tsp ground fresh juniper berries (optional)
1 tsp dried thyme
2 Quarts Beef Stock
2 Quarts Chicken Stock
1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to slow rolling simmer.  Cover and let simmer for 1 hour.  Add to the pot:

1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 cups diced baby red potatoes

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Let cook with a low rolling simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  To thicken slightly, mix together 1/4 cup corn starch with 1/2 cup cold water, then add to the stew.

Enjoy!

Galley 57

It’s a Wisconsin supper club tradition to visit with friends, neighbors, and co-workers for a drink before dinner.  Chef Andy likes to say: “what’s old is cool again.”  His parents’ generation enjoyed drinks like old fashioneds (whiskey or brandy).  That tradition was lost by a generation, but now “old fashioned” drinks like these are in fashion again!  Young professionals and older adults alike are calling Galley 57 the “home of the $3 old fashioned.”  That’s right, every dinner is special at Galley 57 when it kicks off with a homemade old fashioned.  One of the secrets (not anymore) to a great old fashioned is the cherry.  Galley 57 uses only the finest cherries.  You won’t find a store-bought maraschino cherry in your old fashioned at Galley 57, rather you will delight in a drink with a wild Italian Amarena cherry.  If you’ve never tried one, come in for a taste test!