Civet of Venison with Porcini Mushrooms
2 hours 30 minutes
I love a 3 day weekend, but who doesn’t? I take the opportunity to make new art, to go rock climbing, and most frequently….to cook a ridiculous amount of food! We have been eating healthy soups of late, so an opportunity to have guests translates to an opportunity to cook up something a bit more luxurious and special, and to host some friends for dinner. This weekend, we had a get together with our climbing friends after a healthy exercise at the climbing gym in Timonium.
We exercised…so I could do something a bit more filling, and this weekend that meant venison! I got my hands on some venison earlier this winter through a series of trades and have been saving it in my freezer for something special. And inspiration finally struck!
When we were travelling in Barcelona in December, I noticed that wild game was a frequent visitor on the menus in Catalan restaurants, and in the winter months, stews were a particular favorite. I was thinking that another mixture of meat and mushrooms were in order. I figured venison would go well with the earthiness of Porcini mushrooms, and to add a bit of spice and sweetness, I paired them with Chorizo.
I read a few recipes on Catalan stews, many of which are called Civet. In my understanding, Civet is a French term denoting a meat stew cooked in red wine, but here it refers to a meat stew marinated and cooked with beer. I figured I would give this varietal a try. It was delicious and somewhat reminiscent of the beef stews I have made in the Peruvian tradition (less the lime, cilantro, and potato).
I have seen it served with rice and pasta, but I have been on a Semolina Polenta kick, so we served ours with some polenta made with Semolina and milk. Stay tuned tomorrow for that recipe!!
We started our meal with pan con tomate and an array of cheeses, Iberico ham, and olives, and finished it with a Crema Catalana. Stay tuned for all of these recipes later in the week.
- olive oil
- 4 1/2 pounds venison, cut into large chunks
- 3 12 ounce bottles of beer
- 4 carrots, thinly sliced
- 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled, left whole
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 sprigs thyme
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 1 pound – 24 ounces Chorizo, sliced
- 4 teaspoons beef stock concentrate + 4 cups water
- 3 cups or large handfuls of dried Porcini mushrooms
- parsley to serve
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the venison, vegetables, herbs, and beer. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
- Drain, reserving the beer water.
Separate the meat and vegetables into different containers.
Pat the meat dry with paper towels.
- In some olive oil in a large Dutch Oven, brown all of the venison in batches.
Brown all of the chorizo as well. Add oil as needed. Set aside
- Add a bit of oil to the browned bits in the Dutch Oven and cook the vegetables for about 8-10 minutes until softened.
- Add the meats back to the pot with the veggies.
Add in the reserved beer, the beef stock concentrate, and the water.
- Bring to simmer. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the venison is starting to fall apart.
- Add the dried Porcini. You may need to add a bit more water depending on how much has cooked off.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for another 10 minutes.
Serve with some rice, pasta, or my favorite, polenta!