Sumac Venison Stew

I don’t know about you but there are a streamline of thoughts I’ve been having. First off, what incredibly amazing weather Maryland just had! This weekend it was a whopping 70 degrees F! Still no snow to be seen out here, which is fairly depressing. Back home in Wisconsin they were seeing temperatures in the 50’s, which is very warm, and then it plans on dropping back down to 15 degrees F. Weird.

For those of you who don’t believe in climate change, I rarely like to pick fights, but you are SO WRONG! After studying natural resources and doing multiple research projects at the University of Wisconsin’s Stevens Point, I can attest to the Earth changing dramatically due to human consumption. As much as I loved the weather this past weekend, it made me feel complete wreck of emotions for the future. What will my kids have to face if/when I have them someday? Why isn’t our world taking immediate action now for something that is so dire and true? Humans tend to face an issue, and that is if they can’t see it in front of their eyes, then it is a lie. If that’s the case, we should all funnel into Trump’s tax paying trips and vacations so that we, too, can go travel and see glaciers melting at a terribly rapid rate so we can finally SEE!

On another thought, I’ve also been thinking a lot about my passions. For those of you who don’t already know, I am an artist. Below is a painting I’ve been working on for a few months and it is of Lake Superior. Painting this allowed me to relive and feel so many emotions and memories. Art is so expressive in that it can unlock those that might hidden or lost. Whether it’s cooking or painting, I am so happy to have these hobbies! I have plans for my next painting, but please enjoy this one and feel free to check out my Facebook page: Opatikova Paintings.

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My last thought that I tend to think after every day of work is my future. I am a planner by nature, and I sometimes feel that if I don’t have a plan then I will fail. When I think back I’ve always made future goals for myself and always had a plan. I think it’s time for me to not necessarily have an exact plan but more ideas of plans that I’d like to go down. Whether this is my quarter-life crisis talking (which by the way is super like the mid-life crisis… go check it out) or a change that I’ve needed for a while, all I can tell you is that it might be time to experience a little bit of “unpredictable” outcomes. After all, why should I always just be one of me and not many me’s? More on this later…

Regardless of all of those thoughts, except climate change, I’ve decided to dedicate this next recipe to the wild hunt! My amazing sister, Lauren, is a hunter and out of the goodness of her heart decided to send me a ton of venison stew meat! I wanted to center this around farm-to-fork, or I guess in this case wild-to-fork. Enjoy!

The Ingredients

  • 5 carrots
  • 8 small potatoes
  • 1 white onion
  • 8 mushrooms
  • 1/2 lb venison stew meat
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TB flour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp powdered sumac
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp savory

Some Tips-and-Not

Do you wash your produce or vegetables before consuming? If not, you are putting a lot of weird things into your body otherwise. If you don’t believe me, even go check out the FDA website. I’m also fairly certain post product recipes tell you to rinse. Unless you are buying straight from the ground, I would definitely give your veggies and fruit a good ole scrubbin’.

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Powered sumac is an interesting spice. I was able to get my hands on it, go guess, at The Spice House. I’ve been playing around with it and found that it is a really earthy spice that tastes similar to a citrus flavor. I thought it really brought out a brightness to this stew.

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If you have a pepper grinder, cool, if not then get a mortar and pestle. In this recipe I wanted nice large chunks of black pepper so that when I would take bites, I might find myself crunching into a peppercorn piece. Variety!!!

The Directions

1. Cut up potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic. Mix together in a pot and sautee with olive oil for about 10 minutes on medium heat.

2. Mix in salt, pepper, sumac, savory, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf. Sautee for another 10 minutes. Add venison meat.

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3. Pour in 3 cups of water and 1/3 cup of wine into the pot, and start to bring it to a boil.

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4. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl mix together the remaining 1 cup of water and flour. Pour this mixture in when water starts to boil.

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5. Reduce to low, cover and let it slowly simmer for about 1 hour.Make sure to stir every now and then.

6. Once potatoes and carrots are tender, serve with a delicate garnish and enjoy!

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Live long, cook well, and be happy!

 

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