Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yule-tide Stew

2 T Bacon Grease*
2T Olive Oil
1.5-2lbs Deer Meat(ground or very tenderized)**
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Large Sweet Onion, chopped coarsely
6 Large Carrots, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
3 stalks celery, chopped
16oz Mushrooms, chopped coarsely
1 Largish Yam, peeled and cut into 1.5 inch pieces
2 Large potatoes, cut in 1.5 inch pieces, washed but not peeled)
3/4c Sliced Sun Dried Tomatoes
64oz Vegetable Stock***
2 Bay Leaves
1/4 c Red Wine(I used Frey Cabernet Sauvignon)
10oz Frozen Green Beans
1 can corn, drained
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Heat your bacon grease and olive oil in a large, heavy pot. Slowly, over medium-low heat, cook your onions. When they appear translucent add in your garlic and celery and cook another minute. Turn the heat up to medium and add in your meat and brown it. Once it's mostly brown add in your celery, carrots and sun dried tomatoes. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. Add in the mushrooms, yam, and potatoes. Give it all a few stirs and add in your vegetable stock, bay leaves and a few turns of the pepper grinder.
Let it all cook for about 30 minutes, uncovered and stirring occasionally. Your yams will sort of melt into the stew. Taste it and add salt and more pepper if needed. Also add in 1/4c red wine.
Cook 10-20 minutes longer until everything is fork tender(or more so) and you can't find the yam. Add in corn and drop in frozen green beans(the tiny ones) and cook until they're warmed through. Serve with cornbread, or hearty rolls(or french bread).

* Instead of bacon grease, you can use butter, or all olive oil.
**Beef or lamb would also work well. You could also make this vegan by omitting the meat(and the bacon fat) completely and replacing it with tofu or beans. I wouldn't add the beans in until after the potatoes are almost done, assuming you are using canned beans.
*** You need a very rich stock for this stew. I use Kitchen Basics Vegetable Stock and I recommend using that or making your own. Most stocks and broths are too salty with no flavor.

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