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Venison and Chestnut Stew

Cooked this last night, it was pretty yummy.

onion
bacon
venison (not sure what cut, we used a casserole mix from here)
flour
carrot
celery
red wine
chicken stock
bouquet garni
garlic
chestnuts
jelly (e.g. redcurrant, medlar)

Fry the chopped onion and bacon for a while. Add the venison chunks and fry until browned (note that proper recipes give you a lot of hooey about coating in flour and frying in batches – whilst I am as much a fan of the Maillard reaction as the next guy, I don’t think it is necessary to do it to every bit of meat in the whole stew, and nor can I discern an advantage in burning the flour). Unless your hob is a lot hotter than mine, what will almost certainly happen is it’ll brown a bit and then release a bunch of juices which it’ll boil in. If you want more browning, then give in to convention and fry in small batches. Anyway, once its boiled a bit, throw in some flour, stir until mixed then add wine and stock, about half and half, to cover the meat. Add thinly sliced carrot, celery and the bouquet garni at this point.

Leave to boil gently for 1 hour, then add the chestnuts (I used vacuum-packed ones). I added some crushed garlic, too, because I forgot it earlier. Add the medlar/redcurrant/whatever jelly, too (I used both of those). Boil for another hour. Eat.

I served it with herby mashed potato and leek and peas in saffron cream. Pretty damn good.

1 Comment »

  1. In a stew, you need to properly brown all pieces of meat so they hold together for the duration of the cooking. It also develops the flavours of the meat. This is an essential step for every stew. What is not is the colourisation of the flour, it does develop its flavours as well as it prevents the formation of flour lumps, it also reduce the flour’s thickening property, just like in roux.

    “Unless your hob is a lot hotter than mine, what will almost certainly happen is it’ll brown a bit and then release a bunch of juices which it’ll boil in.”

    You overcrowded the pan(s). Each pieces should be seared as high as possible only to brown the sides and keep the inside raw. Then put all the meat in the pre-heated stew pot with a few drop of oil. While you deglaze the pan(s) with the red wine, you can colour the flour in the stew pot, then pour all the pan(s)’s juices in the stew pot along with the warmed stock.

    Corsican inspiration ?

    Cheers!

    Comment by Blup — 14 Jul 2012 @ 22:47

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