Hungarian venison stew

by | Apr 20, 2016 | Meat dishes

Hungary is literally a large and contiguous game preserve, where most of the game stock lives free, in their natural surroundings. The country, therefore, has an outstanding role in the European hunting tourism. Roe deer is one of those game species that can be found in large numbers throughout the country. The hunting season of roe bucks (males of the species) begins on the 15th April, when the antlers are already glossy and the crops don’t hide them.

We got a big cut of wild venison (roa deer) from our friend, which was cooked for a party last week. The amounts in the recipe are enough for 6-7 people, so you may reduce the quantities proportionally. I’m a huge fan of venison, a first-class meat that is better than beef in my opinion. Venison is particularly rich in iron and B vitamins, and thanks to all the wild food that deer eat, the small amount of fat in venison contains high levels of conjugated linoleic acid, which is thought to protect against heart disease and cancer.

Venison is very lean, so it’s recommended to add extra fat to keep it moist. As wild games don’t carry their birth certificate, cooking time can only be estimated: wild meat usually takes 3-4 hours to become tender. Because of the long cooking time stew meat shall be cut into 3-4 cm/1,5 inch chunks, so the meat will have the right size by the time it’s done.

The flesh of a shot animal is usually bloody, containing smaller or bigger pieces of clotted blood. There is two ways to get rid of blood: you can soak the meat in cold water for 1-2 hours before cooking, or you can parboil the meat. In this case place the meat chunks in a pot of cold water, bring it to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes until grey scum appears on the water surface. Drain and rinse the meat, and discard the cooking liquid.

Hungarian venison stew
Hungarian venison stew – photo:
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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

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Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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