If you can't find venison, this recipe is good with beef stew meat. Pungent allspice and juniper berries lend the stew spicy, complex flavor; be sure to remove the berries before pouring the stew into a thermos. We found this tasted good with white or red wine. If you prefer less wine flavor, replace some or all of the wine with less-sodium beef broth.
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 pounds venison, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups dry white wine or fruity red wine
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
8 juniper berries
2 whole allspice berries
1 bay leaf
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 300°.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add venison; seal and shake to coat. Remove venison from bag; discard remaining flour mixture.
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add venison, onion, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes, browning venison on all sides. Add wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, sugar, and remaining ingredients to pan; bring to a boil.
Cover and bake at 300° for 3 hours or until venison is tender. Remove berries and bay leaf before serving.
I added carrots and potatoes but otherwise made exactly as described. I ordered juniper berries and allspice berries online (myspicesage.com) b/c I didn't want to search for them. THIS IS SO GOOD. I don't like many venison recipes but this was tender, juicy, a little spicy, and super yummy. I put it over brown rice once and egg noodles once, both were great.
We LOVE this recipe for preparing venison (especially the tougher cuts) and as we're hunters, it's a regular on our weekly menu during the cooler months. It's one of the few recipes my husband requests again and again, and it's simple to prepare. To make things even easier, pick up prechopped onion and use bottled, minced garlic.
However, we prefer preparing this stew with the same amount of meat (2 lbs), but doubling everything else. The overall consistency is still stew-like, but we just love the extra "juices". I've never been able to find juniper berries and just leave those out, as a rule.
This is a very good tasting stew. I didn't have venison, so instead used half beef and half lamb. I also doubled the juniper, and would probably add more next time, as there really wasn't a distinctive juniper taste in the finished stew. Still, I would gladly make this again with any cut of stew meat.
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