Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Cool Nights Call for a Hearty Hunter's Stew

It can still get a little chilly at night here in Northern California. A hearty stew is just the thing to take the chill off. This is even appropriate for a big entrée, we had it for Thanksgiving instead of the traditional turkey.

This recipe uses a cast iron Dutch oven inside of a conventional oven. It takes several hours to finish but most of that time, it's "set and forget." Just a little bit of preparation at the beginning and two stirrings during cook time.

For a different take, I use ground elk which is leaner and more iron rich than beef, along with some ground chuck. Other game meats like venison or bison can also be used.

1 lb. - ground elk
1 lb. - ground beef chuck
1 large onion
5 med. carrots
6 med. yellow potatoes
10 oz. - frozen peas
2 cubes beef boullion
2-28 oz. cans - whole peeled tomatoes
1/2 cup - sherry
1 tablepoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon - thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup - cornstarch
2 tablespoons - olive oil

My wife and son don't like chunks of onion so, instead of dicing, I put the onion in the blender on a medium speed with 2 tablespoons of water for 5 seconds (you can dice if you like). Then, it's peel the carrots and slice into quarter inch chunks.

I quarter the potatoes and set aside in a bowl with the carrots.

Preheat the oven to 285 degrees. Brown the meat in a little olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, on medium high on the stove top in the Dutch oven.

Layer the ingredients, in the order listed starting with the meat.
Cover and put in oven for 2 hours. At that time, remove cover and stir. Cover it back up and cook another two hours. Stir again and cover. Cook one more hour and serve.

Darryl Musick

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