One of my favorites things to do on a cold winter day is what I call “freezer shopping.” With all the snow we’ve had lately, it’s hard to make it into town to an actual grocery store. But it’s not a problem because we planned ahead and stocked ourselves up well. We can go months without needing to buy any meat. So a couple times a week, I make my way to our freezer and pick out the meat for our meals.
We were lucky enough to get a whitetail this year, so we have quite a bit of venison stocked up, and there’s nothing like a hearty stew to warm you up after being outside working for a few hours on a sub-freezing day.
The addition of mushrooms to this stew pairs so well with the richness of the venison, and the barley takes the satiety rating to yet another level. Note: if you prefer to be gluten-free, then I suggest swapping the barley for brown rice. It would also work to make this stew with any red meat, such as elk, beef, beaver, etc.
Mushroom Barley Venison Stew
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
- 2lbs venison, cubed
- 1/4 cup flour (regular or gluten-free)
- 2 Tbsp butter (or fat of your choice)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms (canned, fresh, or rehydrated from dry will all work)
- 16oz can diced tomato (and juices)
- 2 cups broth (beef is best, but whatever is in your cupboard will work)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1 cup water
- Place venison in plastic bag or dish with flour. Shake or toss with hands to coat meat.
- Heat butter in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven.
- Make sure the pan is good and hot. Then meat to the pan and brown on all sides.
- Once meat is brown, add onion, celery, mushrooms, tomato, broth, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and parsley. Stir to combine.
- Heat until boiling. Stir everything up again, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add barley and water. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes.
Dish this out into a bowl, butter up some cornbread to go with it, and enjoy!