Cooks are always looking for something different to do with their venison. Grilled steaks, deer burger chili, jerky and summer sausage tend to get a little boring after a number of years. So when Host Tim Farmer presented his French-inspired, spicy-sweet venison stew on a winter showing of “Kentucky Afield” television, the response was overwhelming. More than 200 viewers e-mailed the show requesting the recipe.
Unfortunately, Farmer is an intuitive cook who measures his ingredients in dashes and handfuls, which made duplicating his recipe difficult for viewers. Farmer recently sat down with Kentucky Afield magazine and carefully measured the ingredients so that everyone can enjoy the same stew that brings so many smiles to guests on the show.
Farmer’s recipe is a carefully crafted mélange of spices. They provide a background flavor without overwhelming the dish with any one ingredient. He prefers to cut larger 2-inch cubes of venison and slow cooks the meat for hours for maximum tenderness.
There’s a secret ingredient absent from most stews: red currant jelly. Farmer learned the secret from a French chef who happened to be visiting his daughter, who was Farmer’s neighbor at the time. “He was a chef on a French polar expedition in the 1950s,” Farmer said. “He told his wife that he’d be gone three months, and he was gone three years.”
Farmer experimented with his stew recipe for more than decade before he settled upon the final version. If you’re cleaning out your freezer this spring, try this recipe. You won’t be disappointed.