The serious sweat on the sweet red onions marries well the richness of lean and gamey venison. Start this the day before you want to eat it, as letting in rest in the fridge overnight allows the meat to absorb mega flavour. Adding the potatoes closer to serving time gives you a nice shiny stew, not muddied with starch.
5 thick sliced bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
4 red onions, rough, medium dice
2 cups water
2-½ lbs venison shoulder meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup red wine
4 cups chicken, turkey or beef stock, homemade (i.e. no salt)
5 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, whole
2 carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes
+ Kosher Salt
Heat your heavy stew pot over medium heat. Once hot, add bacon and render until crisp. Remove bacon to a bowl; strain out fat and reserve for another use, leaving about 2 tbsp. in the pot.
Add all of the onions and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring a couple times before adding the 2 cups of water. Increase heat to medium-high, cover with a lid and let sweat for 15 minutes. Onions should be very soft and translucent.
Meanwhile, brown the venison. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Toss the meat generously with kosher salt. Add just a little oil and the venison, in batches, if necessary and sear venison on one side until well browned, turn over and brown on the other side, about 3-4 minutes a side. Set aside in a bowl.
Once all of the meat is browned, add wine to searing pan. Reduce over medium-high heat until quite syrupy. Scrape this flavour-country liquid into the pot with onions, along with the meat, any collected juices, the bacon, the stock, bay leaves and garlic cloves.
Bring to a high simmer, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 ½ -3 hours. Meat should be fork tender. Cool slightly and refrigerate over
Remove from fridge, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and add in carrots and potatoes. Cook for about 30-40 minutes until fork tender.
Nice served with some sort of pickle, even mashed potatoes or noodles and fresh bread & butter.