Do you like venison? Have you ever tried it? If not, I urge you to give it a shot (tee hee). A little back story on how this delicious, filling venison stew made it’s way into my crock pot and later into my stomach 🙂
Growing up in Minnesota everyone knows at least a few hunters if they aren’t one themselves. You end up being offered some venison at a picnic, or a family member’s house and you give it a try. I remember the first time I had venison was in 6th grade up at my best friends’ cabin and her dad grilled some venison burgers. I was a LOT pickier back then and didn’t appreciate the gamey flavor.
Fast forward more than a decade and I have changed my tune. My parents live on 5 acres about 25 minutes outside of Minneapolis and have a lot of wildlife in their backyard. Every year for the past 5 or so years a man comes by to hunt in their backyard with his bow and arrow. He usually succeeds and gives a good portion to my family in exchange for allowing him to hunt. Prior to this year I never wanted any because I wasn’t sure I liked it. Now that I am a paleo eater, there is no way I could say no!
I mean a wild deer, shot in my own backyard, with a bow and arrow? Yeah… doesn’t get much more primal than that. The only thing that would take it another step further into paleo territory would be if I had shot it… No chance of that ever happening. You know you have to GUT it if you shoot it? Nope, not for me.
Seeing that it has been bitterly cold, with a capital B for the past few weeks I knew that I wanted to make some stew. Plus I had some AMAZING homemade stock in my fridge from some pulled pork that I made a week or so ago. I started throwing some things together in the crock pot and about 5 hours later I couldn’t stand waiting any longer (it smelled incredible) and dove in.
The flavor was just perfect with the venison and was EVEN BETTER this morning for breakfast! I woke up and my first thought was “yes! I get more stew for breakfast!!!” Go ahead, make fun. I am just so glad I am past my need for sweets in the morning 🙂
If you don’t have any way to get a hold of some venison, this stew would be just as good with beef, shredded pork, chicken, or really any other protein you can think of! Click here for the recipe and enjoy a hearty, delicious stew to get you through the next few (or more like 12 if you live in Minnesota) weeks of winter!
Sweet Potatoes and Smiles,
– The Freckled Foodie
Hearty Venison Stew
- 1-2 lbs cubed venison stew meat (could sub beef, pulled pork, chicken, etc)
- 1 10 oz pkg baby bella mushrooms, diced
- 1 lb pkg organic carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1 28 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 c broth or stock *mine was homemade, check your labels for sugar to stay Whole30 compliant!
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1-2 tbsp EVOO
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp Savory Spice Blend from Practical Paleo (see below for link to ingredients)
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp french thyme (from TJ’s)
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper
Place all the vegetables in the crock pot (I used a 6 quart which was perfect)
Put your protein over the vegetables and pour the tomatoes, broth, EVOO, and balsamic over the top
Next put in the garlic and other spices, including the Savory Spice Blend, found here
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly
Turn the crock pot on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8, stirring every hour or so if possible
You will know it is done with the carrots and onions are cooked through and no longer crunchy
Remove the bay leaves before serving! Nobody wants to eat a leaf…
Serve alone or with cubed avocado on top and try to forget it’s ten below outside.