Southern Game & Root Vegetable Fricassee

No, it isn't stew.  While similar, fricassee incorporates the techniques of sauté before adding liquid creating a flavor profile that we think you'll agree is far more satisfying.  In a traditional French fricassee, meat is sautéed at a low temperature using oil or fat to retain much of the meat's natural color.  If using upland birds like quail or pheasant the goal would be to sear the meat, not brown it, keeping it white.  However...this ain't France, we used the eye round roasts from a Seminole Forest public land doe with a little left-over sausage, and the goal was a hearty meal for the UPO Podcast crew. 

What you'll need:

  • 1 pound of venison stew meat cut in 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon of creole seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 pound of pearl onions
  • 1/2 pound of baby potatoes
  • 1/4 pound of baby carrots
  • 1/4 pound of radishes, trimmed & halved
  • 1-2 turnips, peeled & cubed 
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped garlic
  • 1&1/2 teaspoons of Italian seasonings 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup of green onion or parsley (optional)

How to make it happen:

Season the venison or other game with the creole seasoning and let it stand for at least 30 minutes while preparing the vegetables and remaining ingredients.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron Dutch oven then sauté the venison in small batches until lightly browned.  Remove the venison from the Dutch oven and reserve.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the Dutch oven, then sprinkle in the flour, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes to create a medium brown roux.

Next add the chopped yellow onion, celery, salt and cayenne, stirring gently until the vegetables are slightly softened.  Return the venison to the Dutch oven, add the red wine and bay leaves, then cook for 2-3 minutes so the alcohol has time to diffuse.

Add the pearl onions, potatoes, carrots, radishes, turnips, garlic, Italian seasonings, black pepper, and broth stirring to combine, bringing the mixture to a low boil.

Reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer gently for about 30 minutes.  Remove the lid, stir and simmer uncovered for another 20 minutes to reduce the liquid and braise the meat to be very tender.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with green onion or parsley if desired.  Serve with a hunk of crusty buttered bread or over a dollop of thick grits.

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