No matter what else is going on in life, we still have to eat, right? And those of us who are married to men who can’t, don’t, or just plain won’t cook, still have to cook. And if you’re a mom, you must feed your children. Besides sleeping and paying taxes, whether married or single, cooking is that one chore or labor of love that must happen, regardless.
Winter is the time we cook those meals we remember smelling when walking in the door after school, right? What smells does that bring back for you? Maybe it was Grandma’s vegetable gumbo? Maybe it was Mother’s special chili with beans? Maybe it was a big pot of gumbo or soup of any homemade variety.
After a while, though, the family gets tired of the same old winter-time pot of soup. At least mine does. If it were up to me, though, I’d make a big pot every weekend and eat on it all week. As long as I have crackers, butter, and water, I’m happy as a clam (not in chowder, though!).
So, for a little twist on a hearty, winter-time meal, I went to the freezer to see what might inspire me. We don’t hunt deer, but my brother-in-law RenRed is an avid deer hunter, which benefits us greatly when he has a good year. At Christmas, he shared his venison bounty with us. And then there is another friend, just an hour’s ride north of here, who is an avid bow hunter who travels all over hunting deer. It is his venison stew meat that went into this dish.
I want to remind you that we all have our way of cooking things. My mother never cooked venison as far as I know, so this is the first time I’ve made this dish. Remember, I live about 20 miles from the nearest grocery store, so I used ingredients I had on hand. You might want to add more veggies! Whatever your family will eat is what’s best!
The day BEFORE I wanted to serve this, I thawed the packet of stew meat in cold water. Then I placed the meat in a bowl of cold water, added some white vinegar, covered and refrigerated overnight. I know milk will remove “gaminess”, but I wanted to try vinegar, for some odd reason. (I think watching Food Network has given me great courage to try new things!)
Next day, I drained and rinsed the meat in clear water, then patted the meat dry on paper towels. Each piece was then dredged through a mixture of flour, garlic salt, and pepper and then browned in a hot skillet of olive oil.
After meat was browned, it was set aside on a plate. After adding a little more olive oil to the skillet, I sauteed the onion until clear and then the chopped garlic. I added a little water to the pan and de-glazed it to add to the next pot.
In a large pot, I added a can of cream of mushroom soup, one can of water, 2 beef bouillon cubes, the onion, garlic, and pepper. I mixed that well on medium heat and then added the browned stew meat to the pot. Then I added fresh carrots . . . I had fresh whole baby carrots on hand. Lowered the fire a
nd simmered about half an hour and then added cubed potatoes. I don’t like mushy potatoes, so I added them later than the carrots, which take longer, right?
I added water as needed to thin out the gravy as slow cooking continued. This cooked on low for about an hour and a half. I stirred it often to make sure the meat didn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Note I did not add any extra salt to the gravy mixture, because the soup and bouillon cubes are already salty. Taste before adding salt!
We ate this over rice; but then again, we eat almost everything over rice! It was really good. The meat cooked up very, very tender. I wish there would have been more family here to enjoy it, though.
- 1 lb Stew Meat
- Flour Garlic Salt, Pepper
- Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion Chopped
- 1-2 Cloves Fresh Garlic Chopped
- 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1 Can of Water
- 2 Bouillon Cubes
- 1-2 Cups Carrots
- 1-2 Cups Potatoes
- Additional water as needed for thinning gravy
- Dredge the meat through a mixture of flour, garlic salt, and pepper
- Brown in a hot skillet of olive oil.
- Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Add a little more olive oil to the skillet, and saute the onion until clear.
- Saute the chopped garlic.
- Add a little water to the pan and de-glaze it to add to the next pot.
- In a large pot, add the cream of mushroom soup, one can of water, the bouillon cubes, the onion/garlic mixture, and some black pepper.
- Mix well on medium heat and add the stew meat to the pot.
- Add the carrots, lower the fire and simmer about half an hour.
- Add the cubed potatoes.
- Add water as needed to thin out the gravy.
- Cook on low for about an hour and a half.
- Stir it often to make sure the meat didn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Taste before adding any salt!
So, here is a BW original that I do believe is a keeper. Got any spare stew meat? Now you know what to do with it.