Wild Food: Slow-Cooked Venison Soup

So, when you fail miserably like I do, you need something warm to come home to. Since I didn’t start a dinner on Saturday, since we were going to be gone all day and I didn’t want to burn the house down, I threw this together Sunday afternoon before we went out.

There wasn’t any recipe, just a template- I started like you would a stew. I forgot to 1. take pictures of the hurried process, and 2. dredge the venison in flour before browning. So, it didn’t thicken as hoped. Since my slowcooker bit it this summer, anything I slow cook now is done in my enameled, cast iron dutch oven (a Christmas gift from Matt last year). So, I browned the meat in some oil, and then all the veggies. In this case, peeled, cubed sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. I put about half a teaspoon of beef base in the measuring cup of water I used to deglace the whole mess. Then I added another cup and a half of water, and a healthy glug of my blackberry wine. Once I added the liquid, I heated it until it was steaming and just barely simmering. Then I put it in a pre-heated, 250F oven, where it stayed for the next 3-4 hours. I also measured out some barley, and the correct amount of water, and let it begin to soak on the stove, to go into the stew when we got back. I tossed it in once I shucked off all my cold weather gear, and it only took about fifteen minutes to cook tender.

Warm, fortifying, comforting. Pairs well with bitter tears.

Warm, fortifying, comforting. Pairs well with bitter tears.

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