How to cook a a tricky If you find veni­son meat to get right, Kristina two has the out­come of suc­cess­ful deer ex­per­i­ments.

NZ Lifestyle Block - - DIY Food - KRISTINA JENSEN Veni­son stew with fresh thyme.

Ineed to make a small con­fes­sion here be­fore I share a cou­ple of in­cred­i­bly de­li­cious veni­son recipes with you. Many veni­son-lov­ing folks go out and kill the deer first, then make the stew. But not me - I cheat just a lit­tle bit. I have de­vel­oped a tech­nique that in­volves en­list­ing the help of swarthy hunter-types who bring me the car­case and trade it for home-made pre­serves and/or home­brew.

Many peo­ple also strictly fol­low recipes to make sure that their dish is flavour­some and that it works. In the case of both of the cre­ations you see here, it was a add-a-bit-of-this-and-a-bit-ofthat-and-we’ll-see-how-it-goes kind of culi­nary evo­lu­tion. There’s al­ways a bit of mys­tery in­volved, and I like to use up what­ever hap­pens to be avail­able.

This time I was for­tu­nate to come across not just one deer al­ready ly­ing down ‘avail­able’, but five when my hus­band in­vented this veni­son stew. How does one come across five dead deer, all ask­ing to be made into stew? Bear with me – be­hind ev­ery good stew lies a good tale.

They say that a writer should never start a story with a de­scrip­tion of the weather, but I'm a yachtie so I have to at least start this para­graph with one. It was a calm blue-sky day in late May, with­out a breath of wind. What’s more, the glo­ri­ous con­di­tions went on for another 72 hours which was ex­actly what we needed to be able to help friends move out of a house on D’urville Is­land.

On ar­rival we dis­cov­ered that a DOC weed team was also in the house, or more ac­cu­rately in the shed, about to carve up five deer they had shot in their down time af­ter do­ing what­ever it was they had to do to the weeds. My hus­band went down to have a look and came back hours later, blood-stained and grin­ning, hav­ing learnt how to butcher a deer.

He promptly set to work the next day and cooked up this mouth-wa­ter­ing stew to feed the army.

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