Venison Daube (French Venison Stew) √

Serves 6.

Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. Daube is the classic big-game preparation in southern France. It is technically a stew, but a daube is to stew what a bottle of Veuve Clicquot is to that 1.5-liter bottle of chardonnay in Grandma's refrigerator door. The recipe calls for three different cuts — shanks, chuck (shoulder) and short ribs. I recommend using beef instead of venison for the short ribs, because venison is too lean for this cut. If you don't like venison, this dish will change your mind. Still, beef can be used for all three cuts. Although marinating overnight is recommended, this dish can be made successfully in one day with a shorter marinating time. Finally, a wine from the south of France is recommended, both for cooking and for accompanying the dish. A Côtes du Rhone will work, as will a Languedoc red. Spend at least $10 to $20 on a bottle for such a special occasion. I used Domaine Balliccioni AOC Faugères 2011, a Languedoc wine sold in several Twin Cities locations. Recipe adapted from Paula Wolfert's possibly life-changing Daube de Boeuf Provençale in "Mediterranean Cooking."

• 1/2 c. thickly sliced carrots

• 1/4 c. thickly sliced celery

• 1/4 c. coarsely chopped onion

• 3 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, plus rosemary or savory

• 2 tsp. chopped garlic

• 2 c. dry red wine

• Salt

• 12 black peppercorns

1 lb. venison shank (might be called osso bucco)

1 lb. venison chuck (shoulder), cut into 2-in. chunks or larger

• 1 lb. beef short ribs

• 2 medium onions, thinly sliced

1/2 c. pancetta, cut into 1/4 -inch dice

35 oz. canned tomatoes (such as San Marzano), seeded and chopped

Bouquet garni (bay leaf, parsley and thyme sprigs, tied in a bundle with kitchen string)

• 1 tbsp. orange zest

Parchment paper, cut to fit the inside diameter of the pot

• 1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced

2 dozen black olives, rinsed and pitted

• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley


Sauté the carrots, celery, and onion in the olive oil in a small skillet over low heat. Add the 2 tablespoons herbs and garlic, and continue cooking until the flavors are released. Add the wine, salt and peppercorns. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

Place the cuts of meat in a bowl and pour the cooled marinade over them. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight, turning the meat once or twice.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the meat and the marinade in a heavy casserole or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. Scatter the sliced onions and then add the pancetta, tomatoes, bouquet garni and orange zest. Wet the parchment circle and place it on top, pressing down to remove any air bubbles. Cover and cook for 1 hour. Lower the temperature to 250 degrees and cook an additional 3 to 4 hours, until the meat falls apart easily.

Set the pot on top of the stove over very low heat. Remove the parchment and stir in the mushrooms and olives. Cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni and skim the fat from the top of the cooking liquid. Adjust the seasoning. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve over cooked noodles.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 430 Fat 21 g Sodium 500 mg Carbs 16 g

Saturated fat 6 g Calcium 105 mg

Protein 40 g Chol 140 mg Dietary fiber 4 g Alcohol 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, ½ other carb, 5 lean meat, 1 fat

Minted Grouse Breasts with Spicy Apple-Pear Chutney √

Serves 4.

Note: Crosse & Blackwell mint sauce is available at Cub, Lunds and Byerly's stores. Recipe from Steve Hoffman.

4 grouse breasts (ruffed, spruce, or sharptail — quail and pheasant will also work)

1 bottle (5 ¾ oz.) Grosse & Blackwell mint sauce (see Note)

• 1/2 c. dry white wine

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 1/2 c. chopped shallots

• 2 tbsp. butter

Spicy Apple-Pear Chutney (see recipe)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place breasts in a large casserole. Add mint sauce, wine, salt and pepper.

In a small skillet, sauté shallots in butter until transparent. Pour over grouse.

Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Serve with Spicy Apple-Pear Chutney.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 310 Fat 20 g Sodium 120 mg Saturated fat 8 g Carbs 13 g Calcium 27 mg

Protein 18 g Chol 116 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 other carb, 2½ lean meat, 2½ fat.

Spicy Apple-Pear Chutney √

Makes about 3 cups.

Note: From Steve Hoffman.

2 c. (about 2 large) peeled and diced Granny Smith apples.

1 c. (about 1 large) peeled, diced pear

• 1/2 c. sugar

• 1/2 c. cider vinegar

• 1/2 c. raisins or currants

• 1/2 c. diced onion

• 1 tsp. grated ginger root

• 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

• 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

• 1/4 tsp. ground cloves


Place the ingredients in a large non-aluminum or nonstick saucepan. Cook the mixture over low heat about 1 hour, or until fruit has softened and the mixture is the consistency of a thin jam or thick applesauce. Cool and refrigerate. Can be served with most game.

Nutrition information per serving of ¼ cup:

Calories 84 Fat 0 g Sodium 2 mg Carbs 22 g

Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 10 mg

Protein 0 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 fruit, ½ other carb.