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Dark Days Challenge: One Pot Meal - Backyard Grocery

Dark Days Challenge: One Pot Meal

venison and turnip stew

My surprisingly delicous stew: venison, turnip (& greens), potato and tomato.

I have to admit that I was not very excited about this meal. I’ve been thinking for a week about what I wanted to make for this one-pot meal challenge and nothing sounded good. A stew or chili seemed the most obvious (at least easiest) choice, but 1) I haven’t been in the mood and 2) I wanted to do something more exciting.

Well, here we are on Sunday, my big dark days cooking day and I had nothing. Add to that the fact that my back has been in spasm for a few days and I can’t stand for more than a few minutes without excruciating pain and, well, I thought I was just going to bypass the challenge entirely. And then it snowed a little and I was suddenly in the mood for a hearty stew.

stew ingredients

The beauty of a stocked pantry: stew ingredients.

Since I can’t walk or stand, going to the market today was out of the question. So I foraged through my cupboards to find stew ingredients. I came up with some venison stew meat (okay, that was in the freezer); organic canned tomatoes (not local, but organic); local potatoes, shallots, butter, and garlic from the Maple Avenue Market; and local spice blend Nick’s All Purpose Seasoning and some cilantro I dried this summer. The Rappahannock Cellars wine was leftover from dinner last night. I sent Rick out to the garden to harvest some of our turnips and I had stew ingredients!

The result was a flavorful, hearty stew that completely made my stomach smile. I have to admit to have low expectations, probably because I don’t feel well and pulling this together felt very random. But I will make this stew again. The turnip was the key. It adding a tangy flavor, and the greens are divine. So horray! I made something for the first challenge challenge.

Incidentally, it takes a long time to chop meat and veggies when you have to take a break every few minutes to let the back spasms stop!

Recipe: Venison and Turnip Stew

Summary: a hearty and flavorful local winter stew.


  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, put through a press
  • 1 lb venison stew meat
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cups potato, cubed
  • 1 cup turnip, cubed
  • 1 14 oz can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbs Nick’s All Purpose Seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbs cilantro
  • 4 cups turnip greens, torn into bite sized pieces

making the turnip stew

  1. In a stock pot, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and sauté until tender.
  2. Add the wine to deglaze the pot, and simmer until wine is reduced.
    making the turnip stew
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the turnip greens. Simmer on low for 1 to 2 hours, until potato and turnips are tender and the venison is cooked through.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed
  5. Add the turnip greens. When the greens are wilted, dish up and serve with your favorite hearty bread.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 2 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Copyright © Susan Rose.

This post is being share on Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday.

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