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beef bourguignon...with venison

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Okay, obviously this would not be a traditional beef bourguignon, but I would like to use the recipe as a base. Some things I was thinking of changing are: making venison stock (if I can get my hands on some bones, we gave all of ours away), using a zinfandel or syrah instead of pinot noir. Then potentially adding some blackberry jam at the end (if needed).

What are your thoughts on cooking time? I am wondering if I need less time for braising or more?? Would the stronger wine be too strong? I was thinking of the heavier fruit in the wine being a good thing, but perhaps it will impart to much of a wineyness and I would better off with the Pinot, then adjust for fruitiness later. Anything else I should add/subtract?

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  1. If it was me, I would make to my usually boeuf bourg. recipe, checking for tenderness a little while before usual (it is, after all, just a stew). Be careful with the blackberry jam not to make it too sweet - if you do want to sweeten a little, I'd use a little redcurrant or cranberry jelly that might also add a hint of sharpness. I don't know enough about wine to offer a suggestion on that aspect.

    1. I go with an hour and a half minimum for anything I'm braising and take it from there. Obviously, the larger your pieced of protein, the longer the cooking. There's also personal taste, sometimes I like chewy like a beef stew, other times I'm looking for hot knife through butter tender. Just need to keep checking the consistency till it's where you want it.

      Not really much into wines, but I tend to use a pinot for everything, depends on what you like.

      1. In my experience venison either needs to be served rare or braised for longer than you would normally braise a similar cut beef.

        4 Replies
        1. re: kengk

          Kengk: that is kind of what I was thinking, overcooked venison is dry and tough. I have had this experience with venison stew before, there is just so much less fat to melt. I wonder if there is a point where it will get tender again.

          1. re: cleopatra999

            I would suggest larding it, if you are going all out.

            1. re: kengk

              how would you lard small pieces of meat? seems very tedious. Or would you use a roast cut, larded and cut later?

              1. re: cleopatra999

                You would use a larding needle. (Do a google search on the term for an explanation and some photos)

                I learned to cook from watching the original Julia Child television series and although she often recommended using lardons in many of her recipes, I never bought the highly specialized tool I'd need to do so.

        2. You don't need to lard it for a stew.
          A good stew, whether beef or venison, needs long braise. Since I like tender chunks of meat in my stew, 90 minutes would be absolute minimum for me if making a beef stew; for venison I go longer...I start sampling it at 90 minutes, but have let it braise often for 2 hours ore more.
          To me, there are few things worse than chewy meat in any kind of stew.

          1. I have made many a bourg. style braise using moose "chuck" with great results. Many of the previous posts are correct, be patient venison and moose are much leaner that beef chuck. As The Professor said it will take 2-4 hours for it to break down.
            I always use a black current jelly at the end to add a lovely sheen.
            Try using some dried morels instead of button mushrooms for a great woodsy touch.

            1. I would increase the amount of bacon as venison is really lean. I also add some orange peel. As the time of the braise is difficult to predict (so much depends on the animal), I would actually do it the day before: dishes like this only become better.
              I think the point of a braise is that the meat really becomes tender again as it soaks up liquid from the sauce. The overnight storage will help this.