Elk Stew with Potatoes & Carrots
• Prep Time: 3 hours • Yields: 4 servings
1. Preheat oven to 325°F and place rack in lower middle of oven.
2. Pat stew meat dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or heavy oven safe soup pot, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering.
3. Brown all sides of meat in small batches until a nice crust develops, about 5 minutes per batch. Add more oil to pan after each batch, if needed.
4. Transfer meat to a large plate and set aside. Add onions, garlic, and balsamic vinegar to pan. Stir with a wooden spoon and scrape up the brown bits from bottom of pan.
5. Add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. Add stew meat, with it’s juices, back to pan and sprinkle with flour.
6. Stir until flour is dissolved, about 1 - 2 minutes. Then, add wine, beef broth, water, bay leaf, thyme, and sugar to pan. Stir to loosen any bits stuck to bottom of pan and bring to a boil.
7. Cover pot with a lid and transfer to preheated oven. Braise for 2 hours.
8. Remove pot from oven and add carrots and potatoes. Cover and put back in oven for 1 hour, or until vegetables are cooked through, broth is thickened, and meat is tender.
9. Fish out bay leaf from stew and discard. Then, taste and add extra spices, if necessary. Serve stew immediately or refrigerate overnight. Making stew 1 day ahead maximizes flavors; if you do this, reheat stew in Dutch oven on stove over medium heat, or in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Serve and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.