Braised Moose Stew with Fresh Carrots and Potatoes
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 3-4 Hours
3 Pounds moose meat – boneless chuck or round – cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Medium onions, diced into 1 inch pieces
5 Garlic cloves, peeled and minced or crushed
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 Cup flour
2 Cups water
2 Cups dry red wine (whatever you are drinking)
2 Cups beef broth
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
5 Large carrots, diced into 1 inch pieces, diagonal is nice
6 Small potatoes, quartered
Handful of peas, fresh or frozen
Salt and papper to taste
Fresh parsley for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pat dry moose meat and season with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat, until oil is shimmering. Brown meat in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, about 6-8 minutes per batch. Turn halfway through to get a nice brown sear and crust. Add another tablespoon of oil if needed between batches. Remove meat and set aside when done.
Add onions, garlic and balsamic vinegar to pan and cook, scraping up any bits from the bottom with a spatula or wooden spoon. Cook about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook a few more minutes. Add the beef, with any juices back to the pan and sprinkle with flour. Stir until flour is incorporated, just a minute or so. Add water, wine, beef broth, bay leaf, thyme, and sugar. Stir and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and transfer into the preheated oven and braise, baby, braise…for 2 hours.
Remove pot from the oven and add the potatoes and carrots – then return to oven and continue to braise for another hour, or until veggies are cooked and meat is tender. Add peas (fresh or frozen) a few minutes before you take the pot out of the oven – they cook quick. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley if you want, and serve with crusty bread.
Braising is a fantastic way to make stew – it is a combination of roasting and steaming and it is a great way to ensure more humbler cuts of meat are tender and delicious. Moose meat is on the menu in many Alaskan homes, but beef can certainly be substituted. This time of year carrots and potatoes are being harvested, so by all means shop local or use home grown if you can – nothing better than fresh veggies!