~ In the Classical French Style!
I just love cooking. Creating something with my hands, and the ingredients sifting through my fingers. I wanted to create something more classic than the modern fair that has been serving me and my family so well from Pinterest. Not that there is anything wrong with those recipes. I love those recipes, but I wanted a real challenge!
While at the grocery store and not having my list, I was in the soup aisle and grabbed some beef stock. On the back was a recipe for Beef Bourguignon. Since we have an entire deer I thought I would easily translate this over to a French Classic version of Venison Bourguignon. How hard could it be? So in the cart it went!
After watching several videos last Thursday night 1/1 I settled on a mashup of some professional chef I found on You Tube, and Julia Child. As a young girl Julia Child’s voice drove me nuts and I couldn’t stand her, but now as an aspiring home chef I absolutely adore her! She has so many great tips that you just don’t find in the cooking shows of today, and lets be honest… the girl is hilarious! I could easily see her and I being BFFs! (I know she has since passed) I literally stayed up until 1:00 a.m. watching her videos! She is my hero.
I started the process around 1:30 p.m. or so trimming a 1.5# venison roast. There wasn’t much to trim besides a bit of the tallow, so I then cut it into large chunks (slightly bigger than bite size) and gathered my ingredients and supplies.
10in Dutch Oven
Cast Iron Skillet
Large Batter Bowl from Pampered Chef
non-stick LARGE skillet
Firstly I sprinkled in a bit of pepper on the bottom of the Batter Bowl and then put the venison chunks. Next I grabbed my garlic slicer (also from Pampered Chef) and rough chopped 3-4 garlic cloves, and then thinly sliced the garlic over the venison. Lastly I poured enough wine over the venison to just barely cover it, and set it aside.
Set my oven to 425 degrees and put the 10in Dutch Oven inside to preheat both.
Next I started out cutting 4 pieces of bacon into small strips, and then putting them into the large skillet over medium heat to render the fat out of the bacon. After it was nice and toasty I used a slotted spoon (actually the nylon deep fry spatula works best) to set the bacon aside.
I also started cooking half a dozen boiling onions peeled with some olive oil in a small sauce pan. Normally you would finely chop these, but since my husband hates onions I settled for keeping them whole.
While the bacon was cooking I peeled and largely chopped 4 carrots, and peeled about 5 more small (boiling size) onions. You could use a shallot too, but you wouldn’t want your onions any bigger than the shallot size. You can maybe quarter or half these onions, but keep them rather large.
My venison was ready to cook. I browned each side for approximately 3-4 minutes per side without crowding the skillet too much, and then set aside leaving all of that glorious bacon fat in the hot skillet.
I immediately put my carrots and onions in the skillet with the bacon fat and had on medium heat. I also added maybe 2-3 cups of beef broth.
Once my venison was cooled enough to handle I dredged in flour. Don’t make it so that its completely caked with flour – just enough to be sticky and gooey.I then opened the oven, poured in a bit of Olive Oil in the dutch oven, and then placed my venison in there and set the timer for 7 minutes.
Now that my onions in the small saucepan were starting to turn golden brown I added in about a 1/4 of tomato paste until cooked down. After that I poured my wine marinade into the sauce pan, added the bacon in and turned down to the lowest simmer. Once that came to a full summer I added in a teaspoon of thyme, let it just simmer.
Now go back into the oven and stir the venison, and let braise another five minutes.
After the five minutes is up, add the entire contents of the small saucepan mixture into the dutch oven, add the lid, and VERY IMPORTANTLY lower the oven temperature to 320 F.
Now I got to just sit back and wait for about three hours while the venison, and the wine, onion, tomato purée mixture cooked for about three hours! Enjoy a glass of wine and pick up the kitchen while you wait, or scout Pinterest for more fun recipes!
At the tail end of the braising I put my daughter to work by having her clean the mushrooms! She thought this was super cool, and felt super important!
I then grabbed my cast iron skillet to start on the mushrooms. Keep them whole. First I melted 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once that was heated through, I added the mushrooms and gave it a good stir. Next one of my recipes said to put a quarter cup of cognac over the top and light on fire! I did not have any cognac so I tried Jamison whiskey but that did not have high enough of an alcohol content to start on fire, so instead we have whiskey mushrooms! (If you do try the cognac step back from the skillet or you may burn your eyebrows off and that wouldn’t be good at all!)
Once the mushrooms were complete and the three hours of braising was done I added mushrooms carrots and the onions that were previously cooked all into the Dutch oven and roasted for another 20 minutes!
While that was going on I started a pot of egg noodles to serve everything over and FINALLY it was time to eat at 6:30 p.m.!
I dished everyone up a plate and took my first glorious bite alongside a delicious sip of Marechal Foch from St. Croix Vineyard!
I would definitely make this again and definitely on a weekend because it just takes too long to make on a week night.