Just about every culture has its own version of hunter’s stew. In Poland, it’s called bigos. If you travel to France’s Alsace’s region, it might be called choucroute garnie. A German might say Jager-Eintopf. And Vadas Hus is what it’s known as in Hungary.
Today, hunter’s stew is just as popular as it was back in the Stone Age and beyond. Perhaps it’s because it’s so tasty.
Many a time have I overheard people in this neck of the woods talking about their culinary exploits with entrees such as venison stew.
We often have stews that feature the meat of wild animals such as deer, elk and bison. Most recently, I threw together a pheasant stew recipe for an upcoming hunting trip to Colorado. I used about a dozen legs and thighs from some frozen ringnecks that were harvested last fall that needed to be eaten before the upcoming season.
The stew recipe, which follows, has a couple of twists. It calls for a cup of spicy tomato salsa as well as a can of whole-kernel corn.
3 14 ounce-cans chicken broth
½ pounds pheasants
1 cup onion, diced
1½ cups potatoes, diced to ½- to ¾-inch
1 cup celery, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cups carrots, sliced
1 14- to 15-ounce can whole-kernel corn, drained
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup spicy tomato salsa
1 3- to 3½-ounce can green chilies, chopped, do not drain
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Remove all skin and any visible fat before cooking.
Bring the broth to a boil in a 4½- to 5-quart Dutch oven. Add pheasant, onion, celery, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 60 minutes or until pheasant is tender.
Remove pheasant with slotted spoon. Let cool.
Add potatoes, carrots, corn, tomato sauce, salsa, undrained chilies, and cilantro to Dutch oven. Cover and cook for 20 minutes until the vegetables are almost tender.
Cut pheasant from the bones and add to the stew.
This can be thickened and dumplings put on top for a main dish.
Note: I substituted pheasant broth for chicken broth.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 384 calories, 30 percent of calories from fat, 12.8 grams fat (3.5 grams saturated), 80.5 milligrams cholesterol, 1,817.3 milligrams sodium, 33.8 grams carbohydrates, 5.7 grams dietary fiber, 9.7 grams sugars, 35 grams protein.