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Swiss-Style Venison Ragout Recipe

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Swiss cuisine often reflects its alpine heritage with hearty, comforting dishes that make use of local ingredients. Venison, a lean and flavorful meat, is a popular choice for traditional Swiss recipes like ragout. This Swiss-style venison ragout recipe combines tender pieces of venison with savory herbs and vegetables, creating a dish that is both rustic and delicious. Here’s how to prepare this comforting meal:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb venison stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef or venison broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Venison:
    • In a bowl, combine the venison stew meat with flour, salt, and pepper, tossing to coat evenly.
  2. Sear the Venison:
    • Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the venison in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Sear the meat on all sides until browned, about 3-4 minutes per batch. Remove the seared venison from the pot and set aside.
  3. Sauté the Aromatics:
    • In the same pot, add the chopped onion and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the onions are softened and translucent.
  4. Add Vegetables and Mushrooms:
    • Add the diced carrots, celery, and sliced mushrooms to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
  5. Deglaze with Wine:
    • Pour in the dry red wine, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Let the wine simmer for 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced.
  6. Simmer with Broth and Seasonings:
    • Return the seared venison to the pot. Add the beef or venison broth, tomato paste, bay leaf, dried thyme, and dried rosemary. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the venison is tender and the flavors have melded.
  7. Finish with Cream:
    • Stir in the heavy cream and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until the ragout has thickened slightly. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve:
    • Remove the bay leaf from the pot. Ladle the Swiss-style venison ragout into serving bowls. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley for a burst of color and freshness.

Tips for Success:

  • Choosing Venison: Opt for venison stew meat for this recipe, as it is well-suited to slow cooking and becomes tender when simmered in a flavorful broth.
  • Slow Cooking: The key to tender venison ragout is low and slow cooking. Simmering the ragout for at least 1.5 hours allows the meat to become fork-tender and absorb the rich flavors of the broth and seasonings.
  • Creamy Finish: Adding heavy cream at the end of cooking adds richness and creaminess to the ragout, balancing the savory flavors of the venison and vegetables.

Enjoying Swiss-Style Venison Ragout:

Swiss-style venison ragout is best served hot, accompanied by crusty bread or buttered noodles to soak up the flavorful sauce. Pair it with a robust red wine such as a Swiss Pinot Noir or Merlot to complement the rich flavors of the dish. This hearty and satisfying ragout is perfect for cozy family dinners or entertaining guests, showcasing the rustic charm and delicious flavors of Swiss cuisine.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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