venison sausage and lentil stew
It’s that time of year again. Hunting season is over and the freezer is full of all-natural, hormone, and antibiotic free venison! Now what to do with it. Typically we process our own deer on the ranch but when my husband came in from a successful day of hunting I took one look at my very active 14 month old baby girl and said’ “Don’t look at me this year. Take it straight to the processor.” So, for the first time ever we have sausage. Something I don’t make at home because of my lack of a grinder and absolutely no sausage making experience.
This stew has a deep, earthy and rich flavor. Wonderful for those bitter cold days we’ve been having lately. Prep yourself for many more venison recipes to come. I have a lot up my sleeve.
Venison Sausage and Lentil Stew serves 8 to 10
You will need:
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups lentils washed
- 7 to 8 cups of chicken broth, depending on desired consistency
- 14.5 ounce of can of diced tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 pounds cooked or dried “german” venison sausage, sliced. If you don’t have venison, any german sausage is a good replacement. Italian hot will work if you can’t find either.
- 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat and add onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Saute until softened, about 8 minutes.
Add the lentils, broth, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme and sage.
Bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Take out bay leaf.
Transfer half of the soup to a blender or if you’re really fancy use a hand blender, but only on half. Tip: Make sure you have the blender top on. Let’s just say I have no clue how I’m getting stew off the ceiling. Any tips would be appreciated.
Puree until creamy and smooth. Transfer back into the pot with the remaining stew and add the venison sausage and the balsamic vingar. If needed, add more chicken broth. Simmer until sausages are heated through and add salt and pepper to taste.
Seriously good and warms you up nicely!!! Serve with hot crusty bread or tortillas. Freezes well.
For you beer nerds out there, pour a Dortmunder Ale. An outstanding pairing to this stew! My choice is Shiner Fröst but of course I’m from Texas and Texas cookin’ just goes well with a Shiner.