When I told her we were expecting, um, 26 or so friends, she didn't even flinch. Now that's a good buddy.
Wild game is tasty and healthy, and many Wyoming men (and women) spend the fall season stalking elk, deer, or moose. My Mountain Man harvested a Big Horn Sheep last month, but more on that later.
The Elk Stew could be make with venison, moose, sheep or bison. If you don't have wild game, cubed beef chuck roast would be a great substitute.
Chris says the secret to tender game is to sear it first in a frying pan, then stew it in the Crock Pot all day. She makes a "kid-friendly" version by leaving out the mushrooms. Served with buttered noodles, the Elk Stew was rich and hearty, perfect for a crisp fall day of bird hunting.
Elk Stew with Mushrooms and Wine
- 4 oz. thick cut bacon, chopped
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 1 tsp. coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 3 lb. elk meat, or other game, or beef chuck, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 3/4 lb. fresh Cremini mushrooms, halved if large
- 1/2 lb. baby carrots, or carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 lb. frozen pearl onions
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
- In a large frying pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. (You'll add the bacon to the stew at the end).
- Pour off all the bacon drippings into a cup, and return 1 tsp. to the frying pan.
- Place the elk meat in a large baggie with the flour, salt and pepper.
- Shake the meat until it is nicely coated with with the seasoned flour.
- Heat the frying pan with the bacon grease over a medium-high flame. When the grease is starting to sputter, add half the meat cubes. Let the meat sear with out turning it until it is nicely browned. Brown the other side, then transfer to the Crock Pot.
- Sear the rest of the meat as above, adding more bacon drippings if needed.
- Throw in the mushrooms, carrots, garlic and onions into the Crock Pot with the meat.
- Now deglaze the frying pan, so that you can add all those flavorful juices to your stew. Heat the pan over a medium-high flame. Add the wine, beef broth and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, and deglaze the pan by scraping up all the browned bits with a spoon. (If you're frying pan is nonstick, please use a plastic spoon for this!).
- Pour the wine/broth mixture into the Crock Pot.
- Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 8-9 hours.
- Once the meat is very tender, add the reserved bacon bits and the rosemary. Cook on high with the lid off to thicken the sauce.
- Taste for salt. You may want to add more; it really brings out the flavor of the meat.
- Serve with buttered noodles to a crowd of ravenous hunters and they will love you for it.