With a dusting of snow and chilly temperatures there’s nothing more comforting than a thick and hearty Elk Stew. And seeing how it was a dreary and grey day, I wanted to use colorful vegetables to brighten up the dish. The ingredients are simple and include elk, garlic, onions, pancetta, mushrooms, carrots and one 750 ml bottle of red wine.
If you don’t like cooking with red wine, substitute elk broth or beef broth. And as always, this recipe would work with venison or antelope meat.
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- 2 pounds elk, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 bottle of red wine
- 10 ounces pearl onions
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, stems removed
- 4 ounces diced pancetta bacon
- 1 1/2 cups diced carrots, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 thyme sprigs
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Season the cubed elk with salt and pepper. Heat a Dutch oven pot or heavy stock pot over medium heat and add oil and butter. When the oil is warmed, add the elk meat turning until browned. You may need to do this in batches to not over crowd the meat. Add the garlic and chopped onion and continue cooking until the onions become softened. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and gently stir. Remove from heat. Add the bottle of wine, fresh thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Cover with a lid and bake for 90 minutes. Be sure to check on the stew periodically while cooking.
While the stew is in the oven, bring a pot of water to a boil. Carefully add the pearl onions to the water and boil for about three minutes. Remove and rinse under cold water. Cut off the root ends and pinch each onion removing it from the skin.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the diced pancetta, mushrooms and pearl onions. Cook the bacon and vegetables until the mushrooms become tender about 8-10 minutes.
Carefully remove the stew from the oven and stir in the pancetta, mushrooms, pearl onions and carrots. Cover with lid and continue to bake for another 60 minutes or until the meat is fork tender.
Remove from oven and serve this thick and hearty elk stew with sliced french bread. ~Enjoy!