Saturday, March 22, 2014
Venison Neck Irish Stew
In past years, neck meat was always thrown into the hamburger pile. With the deer Rick shot last November, we wondered how it would taste when left whole and braised. Filleting both sides, we got a total of two pieces from the neck. If we had had the right equipment, we mightve just cut out the entire neck, bone and all. But we didnt.
When I thawed out one of the pieces last week, I was a tiny bit apprehensive. Looking at it, there seemed to be so much silver skin and fat running through the muscles. There was no way that I could trim and clean it all without disfiguring the entire cut. I wasnt worried about the silver skin so much as the fat. Silver skin tends to melt away during long, slow periods of cooking, but any deer fat left over can give your venison a bit of an "off" taste. Some call it "gamey." So, I cleaned and trimmed as best as I could and prayed that the braising process would do the rest.
After a few hours of being in the oven, I found the neck to be unbelievably tender and moist. Because of the little bit of unavoidable fat left on the neck, I will say that this dish does have a stronger taste compared to more ideal cuts like tenderloin. However, it was a taste that I appreciated. For those used to eating game, you will love this dish for its distinct and robust flavors. It was probably the most tender braise I have ever done with venison. I was quite proud of myself. All-in-all, this is an easy dish with an Irish flair; traditionally, Irish Stew is made with lamb or mutton. It requires few ingredients and will feed a house full of hungry hunters, huntresses and hunt-munchkins. Please enjoy! -Jen
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 1/2 hours
- 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour (I like to use white whole wheat flour)
- 3 lbs. of venison neck, silver skin and fat removed
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 4 red potatoes and 4 baby yukon potatoes, halved
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 3 1/2 cups of hot beef stock
- 2 tbs. of chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Clean venison neck. Rinse under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Dredge well in flour.
2. Lay the venison flat in a baking/casserole dish.
Next, layer onion on top...
Then carrots and potatoes.
3. Sprinkle in the thyme and pour in hot beef stock.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 325 F oven for 2 1/2 hours.
Shred venison neck into serving size pieces. I like to keep them sort of big so guests can continue shredding themselves. Garnish with parsley. Add more salt and pepper, to taste. Feed to hungry carnivores.
This is a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal.
If youre interested in following my Nebraska adventures, please check out these past blog posts at http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/blogs/
"Midland Musings with Jenny Nguyen - Treasures From the Past:" http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/blogs/2013/02/midland-musings-jenny-nguyen-treasures-genoa/
"Midland Musings with Jenny Nguyen - A Change of Environment:" http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/blogs/2013/02/45860/