Weeknight Venison Beer Stew

Weeknight Venison Beer Stew

This is a versatile recipe, if there ever was one. I consider stews to be fantastic catch-all dishes for whatever leftovers you happen to have that need to be used up. This was a spur-of-the-moment meal for me tonight. I had ambitiously taken venison out of the freezer over the weekend, and it desperately needed to be used. I happened to have one potato, various canned goods, and of course, beer, so this recipe was born. As usual, I came up with an idea and started cooking before looking in the pantry to see what ingredients I actually had. It turned out well though, since I happen to keep some basic items in stock that are great in all sorts of last minute dishes, including onion soup mix, onions, minced garlic, and canned carrots.

Last-minute Venison Beer Stew Ingredients

  • roughly 1 pound venison (I tend to choose the tougher cuts of meat for stew, as there is no sense wasting a good tenderloin in a meal that will be boiled for at least an hour)
  • 1 – 2 onions (Do you love onions like I do? ┬áThen add more onions. I figure that onion soup has been a well-received dish for who knows how long, so the more onions the merrier)
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons minced garlic (I keep a large jar in the fridge. Those with the ambition to cut up fresh garlic – by all means)
  • Olive oil – however much you think you need. 1 – 2 tablespoons should do it
  • 1 can beer (Woohoo!!! Take a sip before pouring it in, whydon’cha!)
  • As much water as you feel is necessary – really this is up to you. Many recipes specify a quantity. Just keep in mind, the more water you add, the more seasonings you will need. This is as simple as a couple extra dashes of salt and pepper.
  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix (this should be a pantry staple)
  • seasonings – I like Cabela’s Wild Game Seasoning. You can also use salt and pepper to taste, with the optional bay leaf thrown in for good measure. They make the stew taste good, but the key is to remember to fish out the leaves before serving.
  • Carrots – fresh or canned (I added one can of diced carrots because I didn’t have fresh ones in the fridge)
  • Optional mushrooms – I added two handfuls of portobello mushrooms

Directions

Cut the venison into bite-sized chunks and brown in olive oil (or vegetable oil, or canola oil, or butter) in a Dutch oven or a pot. While this is browning, dice the onion(s) and throw them into the pot. Let these brown nicely (this will add a good flavor to the stew). After these have browned for awhile, add the beer, garlic, onion soup mix, water, seasonings, and optional mushrooms. If your carrots are fresh, add them now too. Let this cook on low for at least one hour. If you are using canned carrots, toss them in at some point before you eat the stew (make sure to give them time to warm up!). Add additional seasoning before serving, if necessary.

Enjoy! ┬áServe with a salad, garlic bread, and red wine – or beer!

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