Thursday, February 25, 2010

Comfort Food . . .

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. ~Edith Sitwell

There are certain types of food that make us feel warm and cozy. The mere mention of their name, brings a smile to the face. Comfort foods.

Foods that warm the belly, the heart and the soul.

Hot chocolate in a snowstorm; tea, toast and soft boiled eggs on a sick day home from school; fresh bean soup on a rainy, fall afternoon; Chili on a cold winter's night. Chocolate, in any flavor, shape or form.

Foods that take us to our happy place.

This is one of those foods.

Venison Stew
Aged venison browned in bacon grease gives an amazing depth of flavor to this hearty dish.


2 pounds venison (from the ham) cut into 2-inch chunks

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour seasoned with a pinch each: black pepper, salt, garlic salt

3 tablespoons bacon grease

1 large onion, quartered

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon dried basil

4 cups chopped potatoes

2 cups sliced carrot

1/2 cup red wine


Place seasoned flour in a plastic bag. Add meat cubes and shake until meat is coated. In a large cast iron pot brown half of the meat in 1 tablespoon of the hot oil, turning to brown evenly. Brown remaining meat in remaining oil. Add onion, garlic, and basil and cook until lightly browned. Add potatoes and carrots. Add red wine and enough water to bring the liquid level nearly to the top of the stew mixture. Simmer, covered, for 2 to 3 hours. Serves 8.


For optional dumpling topping, mix dumplings according to Bisquick box directions and spoon onto stew 20 minutes before you are ready to eat. Cover for 10 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 10 minutes.

A special kind of comfort in a bowl! Enjoy!

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