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21 Sep 2009

Venison Paprika Stew

There is nothing finer than to come in from a cold, wet day to enjoy this hearty stew. As you may note it is quite heavy on root vegetables, which bring a hale and beautifully earthen tone. The root vegetable holds a special place in the heart: it could perhaps even be said that this chthonic double emulates and refracts aspects of the human Soul otherwise unrepresented in Nature – or at the very least elsewhere, without the stoic elegance and candor of the root. Some of the most fulgent, otherworldly colors are to be found among root-vegetable families and those used in this recipe are no exception. The venison may be substituted with elk or horse-meat, or even lamb, although it’s hard to beat the flavor of wild-harvested venison for this recipe.

The Stew:

2 lb cubed venison steak
3 T lard (or bacon fat)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 c potatoes
1 c carrots
1 c turnips
1 c parsnips
1 c rutabagas
1-1 ½ cups onion
1 c celery
3 T paprika (ed. note: good Hungarian paprika has superior taste)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 c flour

What you will need:

1 large frying pan. I prefer cast iron, but anything will do
1 large stock pot – six quarts or larger
1 large bowl


Cut all of the vegetables into similarly sized pieces, large or small – it does not matter. Put them all in the same pot. Fill with water until it is about 2” above the vegetables. Put on high heat and start to boil. While the veggies are boiling take a separate bowl and combine flour, one tsp of salt, and a tsp of pepper. Add meat and roll around until coated thoroughly. Heat the lard in the frying pan and when it is hot add some of the coated meat. Only put a few pieces in at a time and cook until the outside is browned. Remove and set aside, adding again a few more pieces. Continue until all is browned. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, fry the garlic until slightly brown. Add garlic, meat, and paprika to boiling veggies and turn heat down to simmer, stirring occasionally, and adding salt, pepper, and a tsp of caraway. No other spices are recommended as this will take away from the wonderful flavors provided by the mixture of all the root vegetables.

Recipe by Cody & Patty Dickerson

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