My Dad is a hunter - always has been - and I used to HATE eating venison. But lately, well, I don't know if it's because it's free or because I've been getting into the "eat local" mode or what, but it's been good...I experimented a bunch last year when he sent me home with an entire grocery bag full of stuff.
This year the pickings were a little slimmer, but whatever - I still got some good stuff. The round steaks are my fave - and what I used to make dinner tonight. I was equally inspired by a pasta dish a friend of mine from Italy made one night using fennel, mushrooms and cream - I don't remember what else was in it, but I remember it being the first time I actually LIKED eating something with mushrooms in it.
I should have taken a picture - I ended up making it in the crock pot, so it's not like I didn't have time - I just got busy with a sick daughter, babies that refused to nap, and all the other jazz I've got going on every day.
So enough of that...here's the recipe:
(again, sorry for the approximations, but I'm not an exact recipe kind of girl)
- 3-4 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 lb venison (or beef) round steak, sliced into strips
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 1 bulb fennel, chopped - use both the bulb AND the pokey/hairy things - seriously, you CAN eat it all...
- 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 1 pkg sliced mushrooms
- 1 tsp dried thyme (I'd use fresh if I had it, but no...I was out)
- 1 cup good quality beef broth - or I use this paste stuff that comes in a jar...it's SO much better
- 1 cup red wine
- a bit o' white flour
- pepper to taste
- 1 cup of sour cream
- chopped fresh parsley
- egg noodles (I used no yolks)
- Heat 1 Tbsp EVOO in a pan and add chopped bacon. Sprinkle liberally with fresh pepper and thyme. Cook until rendered and almost crispy.
- Add Onion, Fennel and Garlic. Sautee about 5 mn, or until onion is transparent.
- Dump the mixture into the crock pot/slow cooker
- Put the same pan back on the stove top and add a Tbsp of butter.
- When it gets hot, add mushrooms and cook until slightly browned.
- Dump those into the crockpot too...
- Add the beef broth - or the paste/water to the slow cooker too...
- Dredge the sliced beef in flour and with the SAME pan, add a tsp of EVOO with a tsp of butter until hot and then brown the meat, in batches if necessary.
- Dump the meat in the crockpot and then deglaze the pan with the red wine. Let it cook down for a minute or too and then - you got it! - dump that into the crock pot :)
- Give it a quick stir and then cook on High for 4-5 hours or until you can't wait any longer.
- Add a cup of sour cream and stir until combined
- Top with fresh chopped parsley and serve over Egg Noodles.
This was the perfect dinner for our first "real" day of fall :)