By Michael Pendley
Deer seasons are over, spring is weeks away and the weather is dreadful. It’s times like these that I turn to a bowl of tender venison and mushrooms in a flavorful gravy to stave off the winter blues. But who has the time to stand over a stove all day? Enter the slow cooker. Add everything to this wonder-gadget before you head out for the day and come home to slow-cooked goodness without the work. (Note: As with most slow-cooker recipes, you can build an extra layer of rich flavor by browning the meat in a skillet before adding to the slow cooker.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds venison roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½-cup red wine
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons cornstarch
16 ounces baby Bella mushrooms, halved
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish, if desired
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
2. Season venison with salt and pepper to taste. Add the meat to the skillet and cook until evenly browned, about two to three minutes. Set aside.
3. Whisk together beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire, soy sauce, red wine and thyme in a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Stir in beef, onion and garlic. Cover and cook on low heat for seven to eight hours or on high heat for three to four hours.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and ¼-cup water.
6. Stir the cornstarch mixture and mushrooms into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 60 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
7. Serve immediately over rice, pasta or mashed potatoes, garnishing with parsley if desired.
Try Out More Recipes with NSSF’s Game Meat Cooking Series
Where hunter and classically trained chef Georgia Pellegrini shares recipes from her book, “Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time.”