Bonnie's Easy Venison Stew
Bonnie's Easy Venison Stew
Nothing warms you up after a frigid winter day like a steaming bowl of venison stew. Thing is, whipping up a pot of stew is the last thing most of us feel like doing after a long day afield. Why not make a large batch and can it in pint or quart jars so all you have to do is open a lid and heat it up?
This recipe comes from good friend Bonnie Wickizer. She has been tinkering with and perfecting it over the past twenty years using the deer and elk that she and her family have taken. She also admits to adding a bit of lamb from time to time, just to shake things up. Canned vegetables make this an easy prep recipe. She has browned the meat beforehand, cooked it along with the simmering pot of vegetables and even just mixed it in raw with cold ingredients, letting the canning process cook the stew in the pressure cooker. Take your pick, they all work well.
2 lb. Venison, cut into stew pieces
1 tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 15 oz. cans mixed vegetables (Do not drain)
1 qt. Chopped tomatoes
1 15 oz. can potato slices (Do not drain)
1 15oz. can creamed corn
1 15 oz. can tomato soup
1 medium onion, chopped
2 15 oz. cans green beans (do not drain)
1 bag frozen okra (optional)
Brown the meat beforehand if desired. Mix all ingredients well in a large crock pot. Cook on high 5-7 hours.
Once your stew is ready, the best way to store it is by canning. Yes, canning requires a pressure cooker and some jars, and can be a little bit intimidating if you have never done it before, but trust me, it is uncomplicated, safe, and an awesome way to preserve soups, stews, venison chunks, sausage, fish, chokecherry jelly, persimmon jam, just about anything. If you don't have one, you need to get one.
The process is a simple one.
Use a funnel to pour the stew into clean jars. Leave 1" of headspace between the stew and the top of the jar. Wipe the rims with a vinegar soaked paper towel to make sure there isn't any residue that might prevent a tight seal. Place lids on rims and then put the rings on finger tight. Follow the directions for your canner for loading & bringing it up to pressure. Process pints at 10# pressure for 75 minutes, quarts for 90 minutes.
Once the time is up, turn off the heat & let the pressure in the cooker return to zero. Wait at least another 10 minutes before opening the canner. Using a jar lifter, remove the jars & set them in a draft free location for 24 hours before removing the rings. You will most likely need to wash the jars (and rings) after the 24 hours rest period is finished due to seepage that often occurs during processing. Just use warm soapy water & rinse them well before storing. Store with the rings removed.