venison stew

This hearty stew combines sweet roasted pumpkin with rich venison meat and warming spices like cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Serve this satisfying coldweather dish with a hunk of sourdough bread, braised greens and a glass of fruity red wine such as Vermont’s Huntington River Vineyard Frontenac.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for pumpkin seeds
  • 2 pounds venison stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 cups stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more for pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon each freshly ground black pepper, nutmeg and allspice
  • ½ teaspoon each cloves and cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium pumpkin, about 3 pounds
  • Plain whole-milk yogurt, for serving
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the venison and cook, stirring the meat gently to brown it evenly. This should take about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the stock, potatoes, carrots, garlic, onion, salt and spices; cover and cook at a gentle simmer for 2 hours, or until the venison is tender. Discard the bay leaves.
  3. Meanwhile, roast the pumpkin and the pumpkin seeds: Preheat oven to 375°. Wash the pumpkin and remove the stem. Slice the pumpkin in half from top to bottom; scoop out the seeds. Rinse the seeds, toss them with a little bit of vegetable oil and salt and roast on a cookie sheet until they get crispy and toasted, about 30 minutes.
  4. Slice each pumpkin half into four wedges and place in a shallow baking dish with plenty of water. Bake for 1 hour, or until soft. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, place in a bowl of cold water and rinse quickly. Peel the skin off of each wedge and add the peeled wedges to the stew.

To serve, top each bowl of stew with a spoonful of yogurt and a scattering of pumpkin seeds.

Healing Properties:

Pumpkin contains antioxidant-rich manganese, vitamin C and alpha-linoleic acid, which reduces inflammation, supports healthy bones and improves digestion.

Comments are closed.