This Alsatian dish is a rich game stew, traditionally thickened with the blood of the animal. Our recipe uses flour for a lighter interpretation.
3 lbs. boneless venison shoulder, cut into large pieces
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled
12 sprigs fresh parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
15 black peppercorns
1 bottle dry hearty red wine, such as côtes-du-rhône
1/4 lb. slab bacon, sliced
2 tbsp. canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. flour
12 small boiling onions, peeled
1 tsp. sugar
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 lb. white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2 tbsp. cognac
1. Combine venison, carrots, yellow onions, garlic, 2 sprigs parsley, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, and wine in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours to tenderize venison.
2. Julienne bacon. Cook in a heavy pot or dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, 8-10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
3. Remove venison, then strain marinade into a bowl, discarding herbs and vegetables. Season meat with salt and pepper. Add oil to bacon fat in pot, increase heat to medium-high, add meat, and brown, turning occasionally, 7-10 minutes. Sprinkle flour over meat, and return bacon to pot. Cook, stirring, until flour turns a nut-brown color, about 1 minute. Add marinade, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until venison is tender, 2-2 1/2 hours.
4. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add onions and sugar and simmer over medium heat until tender, 25-30 minutes. Drain. Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes.
5. Remove venison from pot to finish sauce. Increase heat to medium-high, add cognac, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and whisk in remaining butter. Return venison to sauce, add onions and mushrooms, and mix thoroughly. Chop remaining parsley and sprinkle on top. Serve with slices of toasted country bread if desired.