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Dark Days Week 5: Root Beer Braised Venison French Dips - Backyard Grocery

Dark Days Week 5: Root Beer Braised Venison French Dips

Root Beer Braised Venison Dips with Local Potato Chips. Great comfort food!

I was at the gym the other day watching the Food Network (I get a perverse pleasure watching food shows while exercising). Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives was on, which provides much inspiration for my cooking. I guess I’m just a comfort food junkie at heart. One of the dishes was a pork loin cooked in a root beer glaze, and I though YUM. Rick and I drink root beer the way some people drink beer or wine. We love it. But I’d never thought to braise meat in it (or any soda) though.

So, for my Dark Days Challenge Week 5, I present Root Beer Braised Venison French Dips and Potato Chips.

ingredients for root beer glaze

Root beer glaze: all local ingredients. Sweet.

The Maple Avenue Market sells a fantastic artisan root beer from West Virginia called Appalachian Root Beer. Boy is it good. Probably too good for cooking, but what the heck? Dominion Brewery is also local, but I wasn’t popping by the Giant any time that day. I pulled a shoulder roast out of the freezer. Again, probably not the right cut for what I was doing, but it was at the top of the pile and I didn’t feel like digging (at some later date I’ll discuss my general laziness when it comes to choosing my meat).

I tried to find the recipe on the Food Network, but it wasn’t one of the recipes posted. However, Emeril had a very easy root beer glaze recipe, which I modified by adding spices. Both spices were Christmas gifts, and both locally produced. Sweet.

I picked up some local potatoes at the Maple Avenue Market for the potato chips. I couldn’t find any local frying oils (doesn’t mean they don’t exist; I just didn’t find them), so I got some fair trade, organic coconut oil. I’ve been wanting to cook with coconut oil; I’d heard it’s great and very healthy. (It does have a nice neutral flavor, although I didn’t care for how it smelled while I was cooking.)

The last piece was bread for the sandwiches. I was completely foiled on this one. There just aren’t very many places to buy locally made bread in the Reston/Herndon area. Great Harvest Bread is great, but their hours are virtually non-existent. When Rick stopped by to pick up a loaf, they were closed. I searched for other places, but couldn’t find anything. So I ended up at Whole Foods where I got a multi-seed organic baguette. The seeded bread was perfect with the venison: The crunch of the nuts in the bread complimented the sweet, smooth taste of the root beer dip. Lovely.

As for the potato chips…someday I’ll figure out how to make them really crunchy. I suspect it has to do with draining the oil. The “chips” were delicious…salty and tender. But not very crunchy. I’ll keep working on that one. ☺


root beer glazed venison

Root beer braised venison, what an unexpected treat!

Recipe: Root Beer Braised Venison Roast

Summary: Sweet and savory with a little bite, making the perfect tender roast.


  • 2 cups root beer
  • 2 cups venison stock
  • 1 Tbs Nick’s all purpose seasoning
  • 1 tsp chipotle seasoning
  • 1 venison roast

preparing the glaze

  1. In a medium stock pot, combine the root beer, stock, and spices. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until it reduces to a thick syrup, about 1 hour. Remove from the heat.
  2. Preheat oven to 300°.
  3. Place the venison roast in a covered roasting pan or Dutch oven. Make sure the pan isn’t too big.
  4. If you have a flavor injector, fill it with the glaze and inject the glaze into the roast. If you don’t have this amazing little gadget, either go buy one or slit some holes in the meat.
  5. Add the glaze, cover pan, and place in oven.
  6. After half an hour, turn the meat and continue cooking. Cook until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 130° (medium rare). Remove from oven and let sit.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 50 minute(s) for glaze, 1 1/2 hours for roast

Diet tags: High protein

Copyright © Susan Rose.

potato chips

Local potato chips in coconut oil.

Recipe: Local Potato Chips

Summary: salty, crunchy, warm goodness


  • Small golden potatoes
  • 1 cup organic coconut oil
  • sea salt

making potato chips

  1. Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible…the thinner the slices, the crunchier the chip.
  2. Heat the coconut oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the potatoes. Stir with potatoes in the oil so they don’t stick to the pan or burn. Remove from the oil when they turn golden brown. Drain on a paper towel. Repeat until all potatoes are cooked. Salt and serve warm.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Copyright © Susan Rose.

root beer roast sandwichesFor the Root Beer Dip Sandwiches, slice the roast thinly. Slice the bread in half and layer a generous amount of meat on the bread. If you want, add a nice sharp cheddar cheese (that would have been nice if I’d thought to get some). Place the sandwich in the warm oven for a few minutes until warm. Take the au jus left from the roasting pan and fill a ramekin. Dip the sandwich in the juice and enjoy!

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