Happy holidays and greetings from the Emerald Isle. From Shakespearian country pasture castles & villages, to awe-Inspiring oceanside cliffs, causeways & mountaintops, onto modern European city centers… this Atlantic island is both incredible & inspirational.
The topography undeniably unique & at every turn breathtaking beyond words. It is unequivocally evident to see where God’s hands have so meticulously formed this landscape. The adventure, hiking & mountain climbing are heart-pounding. The people, warm, kind, genuine of heart & cheerful to the core. The beer… Oh, the beer. No where in the world does the Guinness taste better, but surely my liver is looking forward to a vacation from my vacation evenings of dancing and singing from one pub to the next.
It was the experience in travel from mountainside farmer’s markets in Killarney to the local village pubs of Dublin that I was inspired to create this dish, grilled venison stew. Stew is a hallmark of every county and village in the Republic of Ireland. Traditionally made with lamb & local root vegetables, the dish is roasted for hours in dutch ovens & served en mass at family gatherings, holidays & other special occasions. A very simple dish in preparation, but hearty & loaded with delicious, local flavors.
This grilled holiday dish incorporates the simplicity of a traditional Irish stew, but introduces tender venison backstrap steaks to the searing grates of a Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Grill. A commonly-used protein in many Irish dishes, venison steak is the perfect addition to this grilled fare, intrinsically building a bit of gamey flavor to a host of hearty, rustic vegetables, a bouquet of bold herbs & coarse seasonings. After sauteing the vegetables, the stew gently simmers while the steaks are encrusted & seared to mouth-watering perfection. With the assistance of a cast iron skillet & dutch oven, this gorgeous stew melds together, going from grill grates to guests plates in less than an hour.
So this holiday season – Keep the heat out of the kitchen, those grill grates hot, & your stew bowls full. Cheers to you & best wishes in the new year. -David
- 1 large cast iron Dutch oven
- 1 large cast iron sauté pan
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 6-8 yukon golden potatoes, rinsed and chopped
- 6-8 ounces mushrooms, portobello or porcini
- ¼ cup water
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, chopped, sprigs separated
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves, chopped, sprigs separated
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, plus additional for garnish
- 2 cups beef stock, plus additional if needed
- ½ cup dark beer
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 pounds grilled venison backstrap steak, trimmed (see recipe below)
- Pre-heat the grill to medium and place the Dutch oven and skillet over the grates. Close the lid and heat for 10 minutes.
- Add the olive oil to the skillet and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the onion, garlic and Worcestershire sauce. Saute the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant and slightly wilted.
- Add the potatoes and mushrooms, cooking for another 3-5 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown.
- Pour in the water and add carrots, celery, thyme, rosemary, bay leave, basil and parsley. Cook until the water has evaporated.
- Transfer all the ingredients from the skillet to the Dutch oven. Set skillet aside.
- Turn down one side of the grill to low and turn up the other side to high heat.
- Move the Dutch oven over the grates with the lower temperature.
- Add the beef stock, dark beer, flour, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper. Cover the pot. Stirring intermittently, cook for 30-45 minutes or until thick. Add more stock if needed during the cooking time.
- Meanwhile, prepare the venison (see recipe below).
- Remove the Dutch oven from the grill and cool 3-5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and sprig stems.
- Spoon stew into individual serving bowls, top with grilled and sliced venison. Garnish with parsley.
- 2 pounds venison backstrap steaks
- 2 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat one side of the grill to its highest setting, leaving the other side off.
- Brush the steaks with canola oil and season liberally with minced garlic, salt and pepper.
- Grill the steaks, lid up, for 2-3 minutes on each side on the hot grates.
- Move the steaks to indirect heat, basting intermittently with canola oil, until the internal temperature reaches 130-135 degrees.
- Remove the steaks from grill and place under a foil tent to allow the steaks to reabsorb juices and come up to a serving temperature of 135-140 degrees.
- Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, slice and plate.