There’s just something comforting about a hearty venison stew. I put this one together using the roast from an elk shoulder, and then spent the next few hours outside doing some late-autumn yard work. Every once in a while the savory smell of roasting meat and thyme would waft by, spurring me along in my duties. As I write this, the stew is still on the stove and I’m resisting the urge to have a second bowl, mostly because I know the leftovers are going to be even better after the flavors intensify in a day or two.

3-5 lb. venison roast
2 Tbsp. canola oil
Kosher Salt
Black pepper
1 medium onion, diced
4-6 stalks of celery, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. ground sage
1 tsp. Hungarian paprika
2 cups red wine
4-6 cups venison (or beef) stock
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup sweet corn
4 medium carrots, sliced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and, once hot, add the canola oil.

2. Season the elk roast liberally with salt and pepper, then dust with flour. Once the oil is hot, brown the roast on all sides, then remove the meat to a plate. Lower the heat to medium and sauté the onions, celery, and garlic, adding more oil if necessary. Season with several pinches of salt and cracked black pepper, then add garlic and stir in the thyme, sage, and paprika.

3. Pour in the wine and let simmer, scraping the bottom of the pot to remove any browned bits. Add the beef stock and Worcestershire. Return the roast to the Dutch oven. Cover, place the pot in the oven and let cook for 3 hours.

4. Once the roast is tender, use two forks to shred the meat into bite-sized pieces. Add the potatoes, corn, and carrots, cover and return to the oven. (You can add more stock here if necessary.) Roast 45 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. Top with fresh thyme or parsley and serve with biscuits.