Wild Chef reader and Ravens fan Michael Formica originally planned to make a pot of chili for the Super Bowl, but decided to go with his Potomac Headwaters Venison Stew instead. He did pick the Ravens to win–but I think the stew might have been Michael’s best idea that day. In addition to taking any future football picks from Michael, I’m also going to heed his wise words when I make up a batch of this venison stew.

“Relax, have a beer,” he said, “and go with what you have.”

Potomac Headwaters Venison Stew

– 1 cup flour
– 2 tsp. salt
– 2 tsp. fresh crushed black pepper
– 1 tsp. cinnamon
– ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
– 2 pounds venison, cut into cubes
– 1/2 lb lamb, cut into cubes
– 1 stick of butter
– 1 cup sherry
– 1 cup brown ale
– 2 tablespoons lingonberry, or currant, jelly
– Fresh thyme
– Fresh rosemary
– Bay leaf
– Cloves – 2 cups beef broth
– 2 beef bouillon cubes
– 8 red potatoes, quartered
– 3 celery heart stalks with leaves and everything, sliced
– 2 yellow onions, sliced – 4 carrots, sliced into coins

1. In bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Dredge the venison and lamb the in the seasoned flour.

2. In large pot, melt the butter over moderately high heat. Add the venison and lamb and brown all sides. Add the sherry and brown ale. Add the jelly. Stir well, scraping up all the tasty browned bits of goodness off the bottom.

3. Add the thyme, rosemary, cloves, bay leaf, bouillon, and broth, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about two hours.

4. Add the celery, potatoes, carrots, and onion to the stew. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir and simmer about an hour, or until venison is tender and potatoes and carrots are soft.

5. At the end of the cooking time, remove bay leaf. Serve in bowls and pour yourself a beer. Enjoy.