As it turned out, Mother's Day was cool, wet, gray, and dreary here in Maryland. Maybe not the best beach weather, but perfect for slow-cooking a rich and hearty stew.
I started with a venison rump roast, about 2-3 pounds of very lean meat still on the bone. I decided to cook the meat in our crockpot, keeping the veggies separate. Since stew meat needs to cook a long time to make it tender, the veggies in the stew usually become overcooked, mushy, and not very appetizing. Cooking the meat and veggies separately solves this issue.
I let the meat slow-cook all day in the crockpot, and only cooked the veggies for about 45 minutes on the stovetop. When the meat was tender and falling off the bone, I removed it from the crockpot, cut it into bite-sized chunks, and stirred it into the pot with the veggies. Everything stewed for another half an hour or so, to meld the flavors, and it was ready to serve.
2-3 lb. venison rump roast
1 quart homemade chicken broth
2-3 TB olive oil or beef tallow
1 large onion, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
5-6 anchovies, whole, in olive oil
Zest of one orange, finely grated (save juice)
4 carrots, chopped
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon herbes de provence
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
20 kalamata olives, pitted
1 cup frozen green peas
Juice of one orange
In slow cooker, cover rump roast with chicken stock. Add enough water to cover the meat. Set on HIGH and cover with lid. Cook about 4-5 hours or until meat pulls easily off the bone. Let meat cool, then cut into bite-sized cubes. Set aside.
In a large, heavy saucepan, saute onions in beef tallow or olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add all ingredients through diced tomatoes. Cover pot and let simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes or until carrots are just tender but not too soft. Add cooled venison, kalamata olives, frozen peas, and the juice of one orange. Warm through, taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper as needed. Serve over warm rice, quinoa, or mashed potatoes. Makes at least 4 hearty helpings.