Updated: Feb 15, 2021
A classic french dish with a redneck twist!
-1.5 - 2 lbs venison, cut into 1.5 - 2 inch pieces (shanks, shoulder, neck roast and any other "tough" cuts are appropriate)
-1/4 cup of olive oil
-8 oz bacon, cut into one inch pieces
-4 large carrots, roughly chopped
-1.5 lb fingerling potatoes, halved
-1 large yellow onion, sliced
-8 oz portobello mushrooms, sliced
-2 cups beef broth
-a bottle of dry red wine (pinot noir, cabernet etc)
-1/2 cup cognac
-8 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced
-2 tablespoons tomato paste
-a few sprigs of fresh thyme
-optional: sourdough bread
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
In a dutch oven, warm a tablespoon of olive oil and cook bacon over medium heat until mostly cooked and fat has rendered.
Remove cooked bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside for later, leaving the melted fat in the pan.
Let the venison chunks come to room temp and pat dry with a paper towel, season with salt and pepper then add to the hot dutch oven to sear in the bacon rendering, making sure not to crowd the pan. Get a good even brown crispness to each side (about 3 minutes on each side). When done, take out and set aside in a bowl.
Add the carrots and onion to the dutch oven with the renderings, adding a bit of olive oil if needed to prevent sticking. Cook until slightly tender, approx 7 minutes
Add garlic cloves and continue cooking for 1 minute
Add the cognac to the dutch oven, you can choose to ignite and let burn or simply allow the alcohol to burn off.
Put the meat back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat (around two cups).
Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 3 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.
With 40 minutes to go, put the potatoes on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Allow to cook for the remaining 40 minutes (until the stew is ready).
Put the mushrooms in a skillet with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.
After three hours, take the mixture out of the oven and add the potatoes and mushrooms; mix thoroughly
Plate dish in large bowl, and serve with toasted sourdough.
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