Do you have any hunters in your family? Hunting is a way of life in my family. Dad works for a barge cleaning company, and when I was a child, many winters he was laid off of work. Hunting kept our freezer full of meat, and six kids with full tummies. Dad primarily hunted squirrel and deer. Yep, we ate squirrel.
I have many memories of Dad going hunting when I was a kid. Of him coming home and making us (ahem, I mean, letting us) help skin the squirrels. Of him coming home with a deer in the bed of the truck, and then hoisting it on the cherry picker so it could be photographed and cleaned. My brothers all got to join Dad in the woods when they were old enough to hunt. In fact, they each got a 4’10” Shotgun for their 10th birthdays. I was supposed to get a 4’10”, but somehow my ears got pierced instead. Dad still owes me that gun, LOL.
In a family of hunters, you learn to eat game, and if you are lucky enough, you learn to like it. My Dad, my Uncle Larry, my Brother David, and my Brother John all look forward to hunting season every year. And, every year, I put my name “on the list” of people who want deer meat. This year, I was on the top of John’s list. He called last week to tell me that he got me one. I was so excited! We had to go out and buy a freezer, because the deer field dressed at about 190 pounds. Which means, I should get about 80-90 pounds of meat from it! Yippee! That means I won’t have to buy burger until around October of next year, if I run out.
So, we went to Lowe’s, bought the freezer, and then the guy told us we couldn’t lay it on it’s side to bring it home in the minivan. I called Dad, and he agreed to come over on Monday and haul it for us. I agreed to make dinner for him and Mom. Nice trade, huh? We saved $80 by having Dad haul it.
Anyway, since we got the freezer to store venison, I thought it was only appropriate that I should make Venison Barley Stew…
Here’s an easier to read copy…
- 12-16 ounces venison center loin, may substitute beef
- 56 ounces broth, beef or chicken
- 1 tablespoon steak seasoning
- 1 cup chopped onion, about 1 large onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery, about 1 stalk
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained *optional, 14.5 ounce
- 1 cup cubed potatoes, peeled
- 2/3 cup quick cooking barley
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- Cut venison center loin into 1 inch cubes
- Brown meat in large skillet with steak seasoning and 1 tablespoon cooking oil (if you are using an oil-free cooking system, substitute 2 tablespoons water)
- Transfer browned meat into a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT barley. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8-10 hours (4-5 hours on high setting)
- Add quick cooking barley and cook for additional 20-30 minutes
The stew turned out great. Served with hot rolls or biscuits. We served biscuits. Yum! We had enough left over that we will be having it for dinner again Wednesday night. Yummy.