Boys who hunt


Want to know my favorite part of my job (well, one of them anyway)? Boys who hunt. I’ve worked with boys who hunt for several years now and I keep asking-threatening-begging for venison, but to no avail.

Until this year. And I owe it all to his mom (who, truth be told, is probably my age and that’s probably why he took pity on me).

So F got a buck and made the mistake of bragging about it at work. I immediately jumped and asked, nay DEMANDED, that he bring me a steak or two. I didn’t actually think he would, because, well, if you got a buck would you share? No, you wouldn’t.

But as luck would have it his mom got one two weeks later, so he felt he could be generous.

I haven’t been able to make stew with venison since husband J and I were in our first apartment together, pre-marriage.

The secret is three-fold.

  1. Patricia Wells’ recipe for Estouffade Provencale from La Mere Besson, (Bistro Cooking, pg 202).
  2. Seriously, let the meat soak in the wine for a day – takes away the gaminess, keeps all the flavor.
  3. If you’re using venison you need half the meat and twice the veggies.

Oh and 4. You don’t need to let it sit for day to let the fat rise, because, really, it’s venison, there is no fat.

So you start with this:


Then add this: (That’s a bottle of Bad Astronauts’ Petite Syrah along withe the carrots, celery, garlic and onion)


Oh, and those bay leaves? Those are fresh from Placerville. If using fresh just use one, recipe calls for three, but trust me.


Final result, on top of mashed potatoes, is this:


Ok, it’s not the greatest photo, I’m still getting the hang of this, but you get the idea. Most importantly, it was good. Vacation good. Worth waiting for good. I don’t eat venison everyday because I don’t have access to it. But this, this was worth waiting for.





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