Sunday, December 15, 2013

Braised Venison and Mushrooms

Braised Venison and Mushrooms

This is my blue cast iron dutch oven.  I love this pot!  It cooks great AND almost everything that has come out of it has been awesome!  My friend has dubbed it "the magical blue pot" :)

Well, here in Texas the hunting season is going on hot and heavy.  Deer meat is stacking up in the freezer and it's time to be creative.  My husband has luckily gotten some pretty large white tailed deer for us so there is no shortage at my house.  All that being said, I had a really nice back strap I had defrosted and wanted to try something different.  We enjoyed it.  Hope you and your family will enjoy it too!

This was really big. I wound up only using half of it!!

Beginning of the cubing process.

This is the size of the chunks I used (about 3/4" to 1")

Browning the meat in olive oil. Don't crowd your pot!!

After removing the meat, add in onions to saute.  Don't worry about chopping them, just slice.  They will fall apart since they cook for a long time.  Leaving them in slices will give you some pieces in the end.

Browned meat that will be added back in with the liquid, onions, and garlic.

Beef base and hot water mixed together.

Red wine.  Nuff said!

And the cooking begins...

Add mushrooms the last 30 minutes of cooking.  

Totally done...YUMMY!

Supper is served

Braised Venison and Mushrooms

1 1/2 pounds back strap (approximately) cut into 3/4" to 1" cubes
1 onion, sliced thickly
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons beef base mixed with 2 cups hot water
1 cup red wine (I used Merlot because that's what I had on hand, I would recommend something dry)
8 oz fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed basil
1/4 cup corn starch
3/4 cup water

Cube the back strap.  Salt and pepper both sides of the meat.  Heat large dutch oven over medium low heat on the stove top.  Add olive oil to the pot and about 1/2 the meat.  Brown on all sides.  Remove the meat to a plate and brown the remaining meat.  Remove the rest of the meat to the plate.  Place the onions in the pot and saute reducing the heat to low.  When the onions are pretty limp, add in the garlic and cook about 30 more seconds.  Add the meat and any juices back to the pot.  Pour the beef base mixed with water and the wine over the meat and onions.  Add the basil and additional salt and pepper.  Don't put too much salt at this point.  As it cooks, the flavors will concentrate.  Best to salt at the end.  Let cook covered on low for approximately 1 hour.  You may have to add additional liquid (water, wine, more beef base - your choice) while cooking so check on it about every 15 minutes.  Add in the mushrooms and cook an additional 30 minutes.  Mix the corn starch and water together.  Slowly add to the liquid in order to thicken it up.  Now you're ready to serve.  I serve this over noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes.  

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