A true hunter and gatherer dish, this venison stew with barley and a variety of mushrooms is a hearty meal in a bowl.
Folks tend to have very specific ways of liking their deers processed. Some are into cutting small deer steaks, others prefer to keep the backstraps whole, and others still want as much jerky as they can possibly extract.
Me? Well, I prefer to harvest at least a couple bags of diced or cubed venison. Sure, it’s traditionally a tougher meat but when cooked slow and braised, it becomes wonderfully tender. The advantage of dice is that there is also more bite and texture than with ground meat, which makes it perfect for chilis, stews and even soups.
I used a bunch of different mushrooms in this recipe – a medley of fresh varieties and a mix of dried including porcini, morel and lobster. Admittedly, it’s a fairly expensive mix which I only had access to thanks to a very fancy local store, but you can easily (and frugally) use dried shiitakes. These are super easy to find and still have a wonderful flavor.
If you are in a position to gather your own mushrooms then kudos to you. Truly that makes this an even more self-sufficient recipe. But please, if you don’t have experience with wild mushroom foraging, don’t set off into the forest and pick things at random. That could end up being quite disastrous. In a fatal way. Actually, let’s just stick with storebought, ok?
Not the world’s biggest deer fan? Take solace, non venison folk! This recipe would work equally as well by substituting in beef or lamb.
Recipe after the pics: