Way back in the autumn, I was the lucky recipient of several cuts of venison. I cooked some stew meat the first time around and I thought I would try something else this time. Then I found I had two more packages of stew meat. Since spring is already here, I thought it best to use those long-simmering cuts now before it gets too hot.
This time I adapted a Mario Batali recipe for Venison Goulash. I had to make do without a couple of key ingredients which I am sure would have improved the flavor but even without them, the dish was a success. Of course my taste buds aren't their usual quite yet but Izzy and his Papa managed to finish at least three pounds of the stuff.
Venison Goulash: Gulgas di Capriolo
Recipe copyright 2001, Mario Batali. All rights reserved
A Casa A Cormons
4 pounds venison shoulder
1 carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 ribs celery,
cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 Spanish onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
6 sage leaves
6 cloves garlic
6 juniper berries (I left out)
1 bottle dry red wine
1/4 cup lard (I used olive oil)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces speck, cut into 1/4-inch dice (I used bacon)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup sour cream (I left out)
2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Grated Montasio, for garnish
Trim the venison of any connective tissue, and cut it into 2 by 1-inch cubes. In a 6-quart pot, combine the carrot, celery, onions, rosemary, thyme, sage, garlic, peppercorns, juniper berries, and red wine and bring to a boil.
Remove from the heat, allow the marinade to cool, and submerge the venison pieces. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with towels, reserving marinade. In a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, heat the lard until smoking.
Season the venison with salt and pepper and place 4 to 5 pieces at a time in the pan. Sear until deep golden brown all over, then remove to a plate. Repeat the process until all the meat is done.
Add the flour and speck to the pan and bring to boil. Add the cinnamon, cloves, remaining marinade and meat, including juices exuded onto the plate, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook slowly for 1 1/4 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Remove from the heat, stir in the sour cream, sprinkle with parsley, check for seasoning, and serve immediately.
I served this over a bed of wide noodles. It would also be great with boiled potatoes.