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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Elk Stew

My dad is a great outdoors man. At 70 years old, he still hunts and fishes. He knows animal behavior and habitat and approaches every kill with respect. I am lucky to have grown up in a hunting and camping family. I never took up hunting or fishing, but I do love camping. Everyone in my family has a deep feeling for Nature, even if we enjoy it in different ways. I am lucky that I grew up knowing where food comes from. So many kids today think food comes from the store. A few years ago, one of my friends had a 14 year old visitor to her garden. This girl was from an inner city school and was amazed to see that fruits and vegetables come from plants! This is a sad disconnect from the world that sustains us. I also have to wonder what the heck those kids were learning in science class. Did they even have a science class?

I'm very pleased to report that my dad has recently gifted us with a large lake trout (Delicious!), antelope sausage, ground elk and this elk stew meat. I prepared this elk stew in the same way I prepare beef stew. The meat is very lean. I found that it became tender much faster than beef stew meat. I usually simmer beef stew meat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours before it reaches the desired tenderness. This elk was tender after about 45 minutes.

If you are interested in wild caught and foraged foods, check out Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook by Hank Shaw. His blog is beautiful and fascinating.

Elk Stew
1 lb. elk stew meat
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 large clove of garlic, minced
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 cups red wine
1 cup water
1 cup sliced celery
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
4 cups cubed potatoes
1 cup frozen sweet corn
1 cup frozen sweet green peas
2 more cups of water
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large stock pot. Add the stew meat. Season with salt and pepper. After the meat has browned on all sides, add the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Saute until the onions and mushrooms have softened. Add the wine and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until meat becomes tender - about 45 minutes.

While the meat is simmering, prepare the other vegetables. Add the celery, carrots, potatoes and the additional two cups of water. Increase heat to return to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Taste broth and add more salt and pepper to taste. Add the frozen corn and peas. Return to a brisk simmer. When the frozen veggies are done, your stew is ready to serve.

This recipe made 10 1/2 cups and is 167 calories per cup.


  1. Thanks a heap for the shout-out! The stew looks lovely - only thing I'd add would be some dried porcini.

  2. Thanks Hank! Your lovely blog has fundamentally changed the way I look at things when I'm out in the wilder parts of the Sacramento area.