Dutch Oven Garlic Rosemary Stew with Winter Vegetables & Portobello Mushrooms
One of my clients spends just about every fall/winter weekend hunting with his buddies, and about two months ago he arrived at my office with a hunk of fresh venison in hand. It was a lovely gesture from a wonderful man with whom I've been working for three months and making great strides in healing his gut and alleviating the symptoms of Lyme disease. I appreciated his thoughtfulness immensely, but I had never cooked venison in my life, so I threw it in a glass container and tossed in the freezer for what I thought to be an indefinite period of time.
However, as the blizzard warnings began last week, I started thinking about how much my husband (who's as meat and potatoes as it gets), would love a venison stew, so I began to go through my cookbooks and search the Internet for various venison, lamb, and beef recipes to spur my creativity. After going through about 40-50 different approaches (I'm an ex-analyst, so I always tend to over-research) to meaty stew and going through my cupboards to see what I have on hand that is about to reach its expiration date, I came up with this meal, which, according to my husband, is the best meal I've ever cooked up (thus far).
The good news is that it was absolutely delicious. The venison was so tender and moist that it fell off the fork. And the sauce was divine, rich and full of flavor. In fact, we had a good deal of sauce and veggies left over after the vultures in my house ate all the venison, so I just browned some grass-fed beef with some onion and spices and threw it in the pot with the leftovers, which made another delicious meal.
The bad news is that this recipe is labor and time intensive. You have to soak the venison for 24 hours (if you're using venison) and the total prep and cooking time is about 3 hours. As such, it is definitely not an "everyday" kind of meal. It's a fantastic choice if you are having company or on a special occasion (such as a big snow day), or if you just love to cook. Whatever the case is, the primary point is that it really is worth it.
Garlic Rosemary Stew with Winter Vegetables & Portobello Mushrooms
Serves 6-8 (See visual recipe below)
If you have carnivores in your family, they are going to love this stew whether you are using lamb or beef. But if you've chosen to work with venison, keep in mind that it should be soaked for 24 hours in advance of preparation to remove the "gaminess."
This recipe serves 6-8 hungry people and makes for great leftovers if you have fewer guests. It takes approximately 3 hours of prep and cooking time. You may want to leave yourself a little more time if you're cooking it for the first time and/or you have guests coming over at a certain hour.
As always, I have included Amazon links to all the products and brands I use and recommend to keep your meal organic, healthy, delicious, and as natural as possible. These appear in blue throughout this post, so click on them and you can quickly prep them. You can also CLICK HERE to see follow the Visual Recipe below.
4-6 lb boned out roast (venison, grass-fed beef, or lamb)
8 organic garlic cloves, peeled and crushed (don't forget to let the garlic rest - read why)
1 tablespoon cracked pepper
6-8 whole sprigs of fresh, organic rosemary (set aside 1/2 sprig for each serving)
2 -3 large organic carrots, peeled and chopped
2 organic celery ribs, chopped
1-2 medium organic onions, chopped
1 cup good quality red wine
6 stewed tomatoes or organic whole peeled tomatoes in a glass jar to make your own, if you can't find organic stewed tomatoes that do NOT come in a BPA-lined can. If you're making your own, add this to your shopping list:
6-7 small organic shallots, halved and skin removed (you can also use about 15 chippolini onions if you can find organic ones)
1 lb organic new potatoes, washed and halved (or organic red potatoes, quartered)
6 parsnips, peeled and cut 1/2 inch slices
3 large portobello mushrooms, chopped
If you’re preparing beef or lamb, skip steps 2 & 3 below.
1. You can cut up your roast into smaller pieces or keep it all in one piece.
2. First, soak the venison for 24 hours in to make it less "gamey" tasting. Cover the meat completely with a mixture of water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Cover the bowl with a lid or Bees Wrap and leave it in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight. Then dump the liquid, rinse the bowl, and replace the mixture with filtered water only. Cover the roast once again and put it back in the fridge for another 12 hours.
3. After the second 12 hours, remove the meat from the fridge and let it to sit out at room temperature for a while: 30 minutes for lamb, and 60 minutes for beef. If you’re working with venison, remove the silver skin/sinew and excess fat from the meat.
(Note: you don't have to be a time Nazi when you're soaking the venison. If you end up soaking your venison in vinegar for 14 hours and in fresh water for only 8 - or vice versa, that will work too.)
4. After the second 12 hours, remove the meat from the fridge and allow it to sit out at room temperature for a while: 30 minutes for lamb, and 60 minutes for beef. If you’re working with venison, remove the silver skin/sinew and excess fat from the meat.
5. Start the stewed tomatoes. If using store-bought organic whole peeled tomatoes in a glass jar, skip the first step below:
Place the fresh tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute, then immediately transfer them to cold water and peel.
Quarter the tomatoes and place them in a large saucepan with 2 teaspoons of Himalayan or sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon of organic coconut palm sugar (optional), 1 teaspoon organic dried parsley (or 2 teaspoons fresh), 1/2 teaspoon organic onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon organic garlic powder
Slowly simmer over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
5. Prep, peel, and chop all of the ingredients that go into this recipe.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or 175 Celsius).
7. Get back to your meat and rub your roast with several of the crushed cloves of garlic.
8. Using a long, thin knife begin piercing the roast a couple of inches deep and about 2-3 inches apart. Use a teaspoon handle to push the rosemary leaves and crushed garlic pieces into the slits.
Note: It's a little easier if you put the rosemary in first and then the garlic.
10. Pour some avocado oil into the dutch oven and heat it on the stove over high heat and sear the roast until all sides are browned.
11. Remove the roast, set aside, and reduce the heat under the pot to medium.
12. Add another 1-2 tablespoons of avocado oil to the pot and saute the carrots, celery, and chopped onion until they brown.
13. Add the roast back to pot and pour red wine over it.
14. Then add the stewed tomatoes and stock to cover the roast, and bring everything to a boil on the stove top.
15. After it boils, cover your pot with the lid and place it in the preheated oven.
16. After the roast is in the oven, saute the shallots and parsnips by placing them in a large saute pan and browning them over medium high heat. Set aside.
17. Using the same pan, saute the potatoes, adding a little more Coarse Pink Himalayan Salt (or Kosher salt) and whatever rosemary leaves you have left over, and browning them over medium high heat. Once they are browned, take them off the heat and add them to the shallots and parsnips you have already set aside.
18. One hour into cooking the roast, add the remaining vegetables to the pot and replace the lid. Cook in the oven for an additional 30-60 minutes until the meat is fork tender.
19. Once the meat is fully cooked, take the pot out of the oven and put in the remaining sliced portobello mushrooms. Replace the lid and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
20. Serve hot, with a sprig of fresh rosemary on top, and enjoy with a full-bodied bottle of red.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Victoria Gregory is an Integrative Nutritionist and founder of NEWTRITION NEWYOU. Her focus—whether with private clients, readers of her blog, or her followers on social media— is whole body wellness, incorporating whole-food nutrition, supplementation, exercise, toxin-free living, and mindset coaching. Victoria’s personal mission is to help make the world a healthier place, one person at a time, and she has helped thousands of people find joy and self-love through better eating habits and mindfulness. Learn more about Victoria.