Prep 45 mins
Cook 2 hrs
This is a delicious rich-tasting stew that can also be made with beef, venison or a combination of meats. The juniper berries really enhance the flavour so it is worth trying to find them. I found my dried juniper berries at a health food store. They are very strong so it's best to discard them (along with the bay leaf) as you find them in the finished dish. This tastes even better cooked a day or two in advance and re-heated. It also freezes well. I adapted this from a recipe on a pamphlet I picked up from an elk farmer near Ottawa. Elk is very lean and also very tender when cooked slowly on low heat (or quickly on high heat). It is very low in calories, fat and cholesterol and high in protein. Hints: I cook a batch of bacon in advance and keep in the freezer to add at the end. Browning the meat is key to the rich flavour.
- 2 lbs farm-raised elk meat
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 slices bacon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, cut in 1-inch chunks
- 2 stalks celery, cut in 1-inch chunks
- 3 small potatoes, skin on, cubed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 5 juniper berries
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 1⁄2 cups beef stock
- Cut meat into 1" cubes and pat dry. Mix flour, salt and pepper in a bowl or plastic bag. Add meat cubes, a few at a time to coat. Shake off excess flour and reserve.
- Heat a large heavy pot over medium-high heat and fry bacon until crisp. Remove, blot excess fat, chop and reserve. Note; this can be done in advance.
- Heat olive oil in the same pot and quickly brown meat in batches on all sides. Transfer to a large bowl and reserve.
- Reduce heat to medium, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Cook, stirring until onions are softened.
- Stir in tomato paste, juniper, thyme and bay leaf, then add wine and wine vinegar. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from the bottom.
- Add stock and reserved meat with juices to the pot. Return to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally until meat is tender. Add additional flour to thicken or water to thin to desired gravy consistency. Stir in bacon.
This recipe is hearty, full-bodied and delicious; I would recommend it to anyone! I returned from a successful elk hunt with more meat than I knew what to do with, so I had a big dinner party. I quadrupled the recipe, eliminated the potatoes from the bourguignon and added mushrooms separately sauteed (in butter and olive oil) and pearl onions separately braised (in olive oil and beef stock). I introduced the mushrooms and pearl onions for the last 30 mins the meat stewed.
I served the bourguignon with roasted potatoes, fresh homemade rosemary bread, sauteed green beans and a salad. Everyone loved the meal, even the usually picky eaters. My only regret is I didn't make more so I could have leftovers.
Two suggestions, put your herbs in a cheesecloth (or a coffee filter) and give yourself more prep time than 45 mins (I had 3 hours of prep time given the portions I was dealing with.
Wow thank you Cathy. I used beef and it was a hit with everyone YUM.
Now don't freak out but about 20 mins before serving I added 50g of dark CHOCOLATE and will be adding that secret little oddity again.
Try it you'll see what I mean.
Also I transferred it to a casserole and cooked it in the oven.
Delicious! Full, rich classic flavor! I skipped the bacon, though it would have been good. It was about 3 hours of simmering before the meat (elk chuck roast) was tender, but luckily I started early and it was well worth it!