Happy day after St. Patrick's Day! This week's Friday Feast comes to us from The Sporting Chef himself, Scott Leysath, and it's sure to treat your stomach right... and take care of any extra Guinness from last night.
Stews are a great meal to use up all those random pieces of meat in your freezer – from bits of bear, elk and venison, they will all mix well together simmering in the dark stout beer broth. And if you haven’t cleaned out your freezer in awhile, now is a great time to take notice. If you haven’t used a package of meat in three years, toss it now. You probably moved it from one side of your freezer to the other for the past three years and what makes you think that is going to stop now? Right… so on to using that packaging into this great stew…
Ingredients 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons flour 4 pounds (8 cups) venison stew meat, cut into 2-inch chunks salt and pepper 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 onions, roughly chopped 4 garlic cloves, minced 4 cups beef, venison or game stock 1 bottle Guinness Extra Stout (or other dark stout) 1 tablespoon light brown sugar 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate , chopped 2 bay leaves 5 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes (creamers), cut in half
Directions 1. Melt 2 T butter in a heavy pot. Whisk in 2 T flour and then cook it until it’s light brown. You’re cooking the flour taste out of it and making a roux. Take it off the heat and let it cool all the way, then take it out of the pot and keep it somewhere cool.
2. Season about 4 pounds of venison stew meat with salt and pepper. Heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and brown evenly. Once the meat is browned, transfer to a large pot that’s OK for the oven.
3. Add a little more oil, some onions, and garlic to skillet and cook it until onions are lightly browned, we’re talking maybe 5 minutes. Dump the whole mess into a large pot with browned meat.
4. Add 4 cups of beef or game stock, 1 bottle of Guinness stout, some brown sugar, thyme, rosemary, 1 ounce of bittersweet chocolate and a couple of bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Cover with tight-fitting lid or foil and place in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Add some diced carrots and potatoes and cook for another 30 minutes. Stew is done when meat is tender. If it doesn’t break apart with moderate pressure, keep cooking.
5. Remove pot from oven and place over on stovetop over medium heat. Whisk in reserved butter and flour mixture until liquid is thickened. If more liquid is needed for stew, add additional beer and/or stock prior to whisking in butter and flour mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.