Venison meat sauce
So, I canned my first vegetables back in July and it took me until February to eat any of them. This is not because I haven’t been cooking. It’s because of my life-long, engrained fear of botulism. I’m not kidding. I had these jars of gorgeous tomatoes in my pantry for months, and I just couldn’t eat them. Finally I decided I had to take the risk. So I read up on botulism and discovered it isn’t necessarily fatal (as long as you get medical care pretty quickly). That made me feel better and gave me the confidence to open some tomatoes.
On Monday I made Chipotle Chili with them. Best chili ever! The only difference from what I normally do is the tomatoes. Yes, I will be canning again. And since Rick and I didn’t die, or even get sick, I decided to make some venison meat sauce for this weekend. Rick, of course, hunted the venison. The green peppers, tomatoes, and basil came from our garden.
I store the herbs and peppers in the freezer. I just pop my peppers in freezer bags and pull them out as needed. I find chopping them frozen is actually pretty easy, and they thaw quickly. This basil I just chopped and froze. People have different methods of freezing herbs, and I was just experimenting by doing nothing but freezer.
Enough of the food talk. The only other thing to note about this recipe is that I used fennel instead of onions. This was, in part, because I had fennel and I didn’t have onion. Actually, that was the entire reason. But I really like the flavor. Fennel has a very light licorice flavor which goes beautifully with the Italian herbs. But you could use onion instead of fennel, beef instead of venison, and canned tomatoes instead of home canned tomatoes.
Recipe: Venison Meat Sauce
Summary: Preserved vegetables make this meat sauce fresh and alive!
- 1 lb ground venison
- 1 fennel bulb
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 large green pepper (or 2 small)
- ½ lb Crimini mushrooms
- 1 quart canned tomatoes
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- 2 Tbs fresh basil
- 1 Tbs oregano
- 1 Tsp thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Brown the venison and set aside.
- Chop the fennel bulb coarsely. Heat the oil in a stock pot over medium heat and add the fennel.
- While the fennel simmers, chop the green peppers coarsely. When the fennel is soft (about 5 minutes), add the green peppers.
- Wipe the mushroom clean, remove the stems, and slice. Add to the stock pot.
- Chop the tomatoes and add to the stock pot along with the tomato paste, the spices, and the meat.
- Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a few hours.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 2 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: Italian
Copyright © Susan Rose.