The Kitchen Witch

January, 2016

Basic Venison Stew

I have always been at home in the woods and fields and along the creeks and lakes. I learned to fish at such a young age I don’t remember when it was. My brothers and sisters and I used to collect empty shotgun shells from the fields from the fall hunting and feathers from pheasants. Often, my mother would receive a roast of venison or several pounds of mixed ground venison and pork, which she would make into chili or meat sauce. Generally she didn’t tell us beforehand what it was but it was obvious from the way it tasted. I was usually the only one who liked the forestry taste of the meal.


I didn’t learn to hunt until 1999, when I met a man with whom I would live with off and on for the next seven years. Once I did, I fully dedicated myself to Artemis and became at one with the forest. It was a glorious time. This is the first year that I did not hunt, due to health reasons. I really missed being in the woods.

But I was able to get a little fresh venison which I wrapped up and put into my freezer. And it’s so great, on a cold winter’s day, to take out a package of stew meat, and put it in a marinade for a little while and then make a nice stew out of it.

I always put venison in a marinade.


My basic go-to marinade for a pound of stew meat is a quarter cup of red wine, a splash of soy sauce, a teaspoon of garlic powder, a teaspoon of onion powder, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Cover and shake and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes.

The other ingredients you are going to need are: a can of cream of mushroom soup

a can of beef broth

an onion, chopped

6 – 8 medium sized mushrooms, sliced

several celery stalks, chopped

two medium potatoes or one large one, chopped

several carrots, chopped

salt, pepper, red wine for seasoning

In a Dutch Oven or heavy pan, heat a mixture of butter and olive oil and brown the venison, after discarding the marinade. Just before it is almost totally browned, add the onion and the celery and let them sweat a little bit and then add the other vegetables. Mix together the cream of mushroom soup and beef broth and then pour over the meat and vegetables. Season as you please with salt and pepper and whatever else you have on hand. I also often add whatever leftover vegetables I have in the fridge – in this case, I added some corn and peas to the recipe.


If you want to know the truth, I never make it the same way twice! Hence the name “Basic Venison Stew”.

Of course, if you don’t have access to venison, feel free to use beef or even marinade some tofu and use that! The greatest recipes have come from experimentation and so have the best spells. Use what you have! Be creative! Enjoy your kitchen! Until next month,

Brightest Blessings from the Kitchen Witch, Polly Applequeen.