Arguably the most popular game meat in Australia, venison is both a nutritionally excellent and delicious protein source that hunters can make both complex and simple meals which will put most restaurants to shame. Venison is very lean in comparison to most meats and strong in flavour, so cooking it low and slow will give you the best results, especially for those being introduced to venison for the first time.
This dish uses simple ingredients, an easy to follow marinade and cooking process that any hunter-turned-cook can master and earn those brownie points with your partner to explain why you need to go out hunting again.
Australian Venison Stew
- 800 grams venison (cubed)
- 1 large brown onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 3 carrots (cut into 1/4-inch slices)
- 1 celery stalk finely chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Australian black peppercorns (I personally like to use a mortar and pestle on fresh peppercorns instead of pre-ground to get the best flavour)
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
- 1 cup dry red wine (we’re spoiled for choice in Australia, so try grab something local)
- 3/4 cup beef stock
- 5 slices of middle bacon chopped (streaky bacon can be used but avoid Maple bacon as this can impact the flavour of the stew)
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups cleaned mushrooms
- Gather the ingredients.
- Put the venison, onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, and the herbs in a glass bowl or ceramic dish. (Put meat to one of dish, vegetables on the other side to make it easier to separate when cooking later)
- Pour the red wine and beef stock over the venison (stirring the ingredients to evenly coat) and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight for best results.
- Drain the liquid marinade and reserve it for use later in this recipe.
- In a large saucepan over high heat, cook the bacon in butter until it turns crisp.
- Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery in the butter and bacon grease for 5 minutes, until the vegetables turn soft. Transfer them to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set it aside for a moment.
- Toss the venison with the flour and brown it in the remaining bacon grease.
- Once all sides of the meat are browned, stir in the tomato paste and cook the mixture for 1 minute.
- Add the mushrooms, cooked vegetables, crisped bacon, and reserved marinade liquid into the pan with the browned venison.
- Cook the mixture over low heat, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The venison stew is done when the meat and vegetables are tender and the sauce is thickened.
- Serve the casserole with simple, fresh, green vegetables and a spoon or two of mashed potatoes to soak up the juices.
This dish serves 4-6 people and can easily be refrigerated or frozen and reheated.