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Any hunters out there? I’ve never shot an animal myself, but from little up I’ve enjoyed going hunting with my dad. While I never had a strong desire to carry a gun and shoot anything, I’ve always loved being out in the woods in the early morning, enjoying nature, and occasionally experiencing some excitement when my dad shot a deer while I was along. Tracking, field-dressing, and butchering were all fascinating to me, and I even tried my hand at tanning a deer hide when I was about ten years old. I was definitely a tomboy…and still am, sometimes.
Cooking venison is also an enjoyable pastime for me. When we butcher our deer we usually save the tenderloin and backstraps as steaks, marinate, and grill them. Larger cuts of meat, like roasts, we freeze in chunks, then either deep fry them as shown on page 77 in my cookbook or slice thinly, coat in flour (or oat fiber and golden flaxmeal), and fry in butter. Everything else just gets turned into hamburger. I wanted to try something different recently, so I came up with this crockpot stew served over rice. It’s very easy to make, and the lean venison allows this to be a THM:E meal!
THM:E meals are often harder for me to come up with than THM:S meals because a lot of meats naturally have too much fat to be used in a THM:E setting. Venison is an exception. I don’t eat as many root vegetables as I would like to because I find it hard to remember to pair them with a lean meat, so I often just forget about making them altogether and rely on chocolate oatmeal for breakfast as my carb source for the day. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a shame to miss out on healthy veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes in all their orange goodness. Plus, root vegetables like this make great cheap fillers in a meal, so pairing them with venison we shot and butchered ourselves makes for a budget-friendly meal.
I served this hearty crockpot stew over brown rice for even more budget-friendly filler. Because of the carbs already contained in the sweet potatoes and carrots, you’ll need to go easy on the rice. For an explanation on that, check out the end of the recipe directions below. 😛 Rice is a great thing for the kids to fill up on, though!
This crockpot stew has great flavor, and leftovers taste even better the next day. The meat gets really tender when refrigerated overnight.
Some quick tips for making venison taste good:
- Field dress the deer (i.e. take the guts out) right away after shooting it.
- Get as much blood out as possible. When my dad shoots a deer, we usually let it hang overnight at least before cutting it off the bone. (Deer season is in the winter, so it’s usually cold enough to just do this outside.) After cutting the meat off the bone, we let it drain in the fridge for another week before processing it. To do this, my dad made some nifty containers by drilling holes in stackable Rubbermaids. A Rubbermaid with holes in the bottom gets stacked inside a Rubbermaid without holes, and the meat is put in the top Rubbermaid. The blood drains out of the meat and down through the holes into the container below. Getting rid of as much blood as possible decreases the gamey taste of the meat. After the meat has drained, we trim the membrane and fat off the steaks and chunks of meat we want to keep whole and freeze them, then grind the rest of the meat into hamburger (sometimes adding some storebought hamburger to give it a little bit of fat since venison is incredibly lean), and freeze it in bags as well.
As always, check out the Notes section of the recipe for extra info. Check out the links in and below the recipe to see the products I use and recommend. Some of the links included in the recipe and blog post are affiliate links, which means that if you make purchases through these links, I make a small commission to help defray the costs of running this blog (at no extra charge to you). Thanks for your help!
You may also enjoy:
- Starting THM
- my recipe index
- my recipes grouped by fuel type, allergy info, and theme
- all my crockpot recipes
Want more easy meal options? Check out my cookbook!
- 2 lg. sweet potatoes
- 8 med. carrots
- 1 med. onion
- 2 c. water
- ½ c. reduced-sodium soy sauce
- ½ c. water
- 3 T. oat fiber (use gluten-free if necessary)
- 3 T. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. each garlic powder, paprika, salt
- ½ tsp. xanthan gum
- ½ tsp. ground mustard, sage, black pepper
- ½ tsp. liquid smoke
- 3 lb. venison roast
- 1 tsp. xanthan gum
- Serve with brown rice seasoned with garlic salt and black pepper
- Wash the sweet potatoes and carrots and cut them up into 3" chunks (this isn't rocket science, and I don't peel them). If the carrots are really big around, cut them in half so they'll cook through. Place the sweet potato and carrot chunks in the bottom of a crockpot that holds 6 quarts or more. Cut the onion into thick slices and put it on top. Pour two cups of water over the vegetables.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the second section of ingredients (add the xanthan gum while whisking so it doesn't clump).
- Cut the venison roast into 1½" chunks and fold them into the sauce. Pour the venison and sauce over the top of the vegetables in the crockpot. Do not stir.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, then stir. Remove one cup of broth and whisk 1 tsp. xanthan gum into it. Pour this mixture into the crockpot and stir again. Cook on high for another hour or until the vegetables are soft and the meat cooked through, then turn the crockpot to low until serving.
- Serve over brown rice. Since you already have some carbs in the form of the sweet potatoes and to a lesser extent, the carrots, go easy on the rice. If "go easy" isn't specific enough for you, please feel free to calculate exact carb counts for the sweet potatoes, carrots, and rice to ensure that you don't go over your 45g carb limit for a THM:E meal. I just go easy. It's easier.