November Rain

5 Nov

We’ve officially “fallen back” and the dark days are coming. Miserably rainy, cold, dark days. The shortest day of the year is still two whole months away and the two months following that can be some of the wettest and darkest on the west coast. It’s the time of year when people hunker down and hide under their umbrellas, their blankets, and their moods, to wait out the season.
November Rain
(Of course today―the day I finally get around to posting something on the LB―is beautifully clear. But you and I both know that those dark days are definitely coming. By the way, if you ever want to check the weather without looking out the window (or heck, without getting out of bed), hit up Kat Kam for a live view of English Bay.Clear Vancouver day
At this time of year, our best memories of summer can be doused so completely by the weather that it’s hard to believe we ever really experienced those blissfully long, bright, blue sky days. But we did, and we will again.

Until then, there’s comfort food. This weekend it was stew: warm, savoury, satisfying stew, served over mashed potatoes with crusty bread to soak up every last tasty bit.

A lovely, generous friend of mine offered me some of the venison her boyfriend brought back from a recent hunting trip and my first thought was to make stew. My uncle used to hunt deer in Manitoba and this recipe comes care of my aunt. I’m pleased to report that my first attempt at cooking venison turned out fantastic. The meat was tender and flavourful and the stew hearty and delicious. Perfect for a dreary autumn evening.

Venison Stew

I found it odd that there were no potatoes in this recipe because, in my mind, a stew should always have potatoes. You could easily add a few cubed potatoes when you add the carrots but I decided to make mashed potatoes separately and serve the stew over them. This was possibly the best idea I had all week. You could also serve it over rice but I highly recommend the mashed potatoes.

Venison Stew

Ingredients

1 to 2 pounds venison, cubed
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoon oil
1 diced onion

2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp thyme
14oz can of diced tomatoes
3 carrots, diced
7 or 8 mushrooms, diced

Directions

  1. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper in a plastic bag.
  2. Put some pieces of venison into the bag and shake until coated with flour mixture, set aside on a plate. Repeat to coat all the venison pieces.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan and brown the meat, remove and place in a Dutch oven.
  4. Brown onions in the frying pan then add them to the Dutch oven.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients (except the mushrooms), bring to a boil and simmer for an hour or so.
  6. Twenty minutes before serving, add the mushrooms. (Optional: sauté the mushrooms in a frying pan first).
  7. If the stew isn’t thick enough, spoon out about 1/4 cup broth from and put it in a jar with 1 tablespoons cornstarch. Shake well and add it to the broth. It should thicken up nicely.
  8. Serve alone, or over mashed potatoes or rice.

 

And, just as a reminder, this is what long summer days look like. Stay strong, friends, it’s only six months away 😉

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© 2013 C Chisholm Communications.
All rights reserved.

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One Response to “November Rain”

  1. Holly Foran November 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    The stew sounds delightful! I don’t have venison, but I think I have some beef in the freezer that I could use! Mashed potatoes with stew? You are a genius.

    The darkness is the worst. The worst. I left work at 4:45 today and it was nearly dark. NEARLY DARK at 4:45. Gross. I’m going to have to take your pictures of summer to London Drugs and get poster sized versions that I can take with me to remind myself that those days did once exist.

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