Elk Stew in Port
3 tbsp canola oil
2 – 2 1/2 lb elk stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 small can tomato sauce (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup port
1 large cooking onion, peeled and spiked with 5 cloves
2 medium sized carrots, scraped and split length-wise
2 stalks celery 5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/2 tsp (generous) dry oregano flakes
15 whole black pepper corns
To Finish: 1/2 tsp salt
2 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 – 3 large carrots, scraped, split and cut into 1-inch sections
1 cup frozen peas
Gravy thickener (Knorr’s Veloutine suggested)
Put the canola oil in an 6-8 quart Dutch oven. Over medium high heat brown the elk stew cubes on all sides, stirring as required. Stir in the chicken or vegetable stock, tomato sauce, and port. Add, and stir in: the onion spiked with cloves, carrots, celery, thyme, garlic, bay leaf, parsley, oregano, and pepper corns. Bring to a boil and remove from stove, cover and cook in a 300F oven for 3 hours, gently stirring every hour or so.
Remove from oven. Use a slotted spoon to remove and discard the onion, carrots, celery, thyme and garlic cloves. Refrigerate the stew in its sauce overnight.
To Finish: The next day stir in the salt, add the potato cubes and carrot sections. Stir to combine and cook covered in a 300F oven for 2 hours, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the frozen peas and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove stew from oven, uncover and bring it to a moderate boil on the stove. Immediately add gravy thickener one or two tablespoon at a time and stir stew until desired thickness is reached. Serve immediately, great reheated.