Attention all you hunters who have been putting away venison in the freezer. Here's your chance to take some of these less-than-tender cuts and make a wonderful meal.

The key to this recipe is the use of the rich veal stock or venison stock enhanced with the earthly delight of porcini mushrooms reduced with a large amount of red wine. The pieces of venison are seared to bring out the flavor and it's all topped off with homemade biscuits.

Thinking about it, this is another version of Shepherd's Pie, using biscuits instead of mashed potato. This dish is heavy fare well suited for cold nights. Be sure to make extra biscuits!

Venison Stew

  • 1 lb. venison, fully trimmed 1" dice
  • 1 cup flour with ¾ tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon white pepper added
  • ½ cup clarified butter or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, diced fine
  • 2 cups burgundy (red) wine
  • 4 oz. dried porcini mushrooms (Italian)
  • 1 quart rich veal stock
  • 2 small Idaho potatoes, medium dice
  • 1 yellow onion, julienned
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 ribs celery, diced fine
  • 1 small carrot, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced fine
  • 2 dashes Tabasco©
  • 1-½ tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1-½ tablespoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper

Blister skin on poblano. Peel, seed and dice fine.

Heat butter or oil in a heavy bottomed pot until it just begins to smoke, about 350°.

Toss venison in seasoned flour, dusting off excess.

Add venison and brown in small batches. Reserve warm.

In the same pot, add garlic and red onion and sauté briefly. Add red wine and mushrooms, and reduce to one cup.

Add veal stock, potatoes, vegetables, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are softened.

Add venison and adjust seasonings. Top pot with biscuits and bake in a preheated 450° oven for 10-12 minutes until biscuits are browned.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes about 24

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons double acting baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-½ sticks unsalted butter, cut in ¼" pieces
  • 1-½ cups buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup grated cheese, Monterey Jack and cheddar
  • ¼ cup green onion tops, chopped

Sift together dry ingredients.

Cut in the butter to the consistency of coarse cornmeal.

Make a well in the center of the dough and quickly incorporate buttermilk (about 30 seconds).

Knead gently on a floured board incorporating cheese and onions (about 30 seconds).

Pat out to 1-½" thickness and cut into large 4" biscuits. Set aside until final step for Venison Stew.

Brown Veal Stock

Yield: 1 gallon

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 8 lbs. veal bones, browned (we use lots of wild game bones, as well)
  • 1 lb. mirepoix, browned-50% onion chopped; 25% celery, chopped; 25% carrots, chopped
  • 2-3 oz. tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic, whole
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups burgundy
  • 6 quarts water

Preheat oven to 400º

Place bones in a single layer in a large pre-heated pan with ½ cup of oil. Roast 2 hours.

Add mirepoix and tomato paste in the last twenty minutes to caramelize.

Transfer all to stock pot and deglaze pan with burgundy.

Scrape fond (the brown bits stuck to the bottom) from roasting pan and add to stock pot.

Cover everything in stock pot with cold water and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer.

Skim scum periodically.

Simmer six hours, adding more water to cover bones as needed.

Strain and refrigerate or cool.

If you want deeper, richer stock, keep simmering, but do not reduce over 50% more.