Persian Venison Stew is intoxicating over creamy cheesy grits. I love using Persian spices, like turmeric, mint, and cilantro, to add an exotic flavor that pairs so well with venison, beef, and even lamb.
This protein in this recipe can certainly be adapted to your taste or the stock you may have on hand. Skirt steak and lamb are perfect substitutions for the venison, but I do love venison in stews if you happen to have some.
Why do I love venison for this recipe? Well, to tell you the truth, I like venison for most recipes that need a hearty meat. The earthy flavor alone is reason enough.
Many people don’t like working with venison because it can be tough, gamey, and unappealing, but once you get the hang of cooking it, you won’t be able to keep enough venison in your freezer.
In my post 10 Tips to Know When Preparing Venison, you’ll have all the information you need to know about cooking with venison.
The Spices and Herbs
In the many of the Persian dishes I adore, three spices are consistently present: turmeric, mint, and cilantro. Others I use in this dish are dill, parsley, and garlic.
Turmeric has a slightly bittersweet flavor. It adds the deep mustard color to the dish, as does cumin when used.
Turmeric is best when paired with fats, as it is fat soluble and the flavor profile needs it. Coconut milk is a great choice. In this recipe, the cheesy grits will help balance the flavors.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. Eaten with black pepper, it has a higher absorption rate.
Mint adds brightness to any dish, as does lemons. Its sweet flavor lingers and refreshes more than any other herb I’m aware of. In this dish, the mint helps to balance the slight bitterness of the turmeric.
Mint aids in digestion and is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C!
Cilantro comes from the coriander plant. The leaves of the plant are the part that is considered cilantro. Some Mexican as well as Indian dishes use this amazing herb.
Some folks have a genetic disliking for cilantro; they pick up on the “soapy” flavor of the cilantro that others, like me, don’t taste.
Like parsley, cilantro should be used at the end of a dish’s preparation so that it doesn’t lose its flavor.
Two health points about cilantro I find appealing are the fact that it lowers anxiety and helps protect against food poisoning! Have you ever had food poisoning? I’ll eat cilantro all day if I can ward that off for the rest of my life!
Persian Venison Stew over Cheesy Garlic Grits
- 3 pounds venison hindquarter, trimmed and cubed
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 large yellow or Vidalia onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest plus juice of 1 lemon
- 3-4 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1 14-ounce can Marzano stewed tomatoes
- 1 14-ounce can white beans, drained
- 2 cups collards
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
- 3 cups cheesy garlic grits
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- goat cheese, for serving
- fresh mint, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Generously season the hindquarter with salt and pepper.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil until it is almost smoking. Place 1/3 of the venison in the pot and brown on all sides. Remove the venison to a plate with a slotted spoon and continue with the rest of the venison.
- Add the onion and cook about 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the garlic, crushed red pepper, turmeric, lemon zest and juice, and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add venison to the Dutch oven and pour in the 3 cups broth, along with the the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Cook covered for 3 hours or until the venison is tender.
- Remove from the oven and place over low heat. Add any remaining broth to create the thickness you like. Stir in the beans, collards, cilantro, and dill and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until the greens are wilted.
- To serve, divide the cheesy garlic grits among the bowls and ladle stew over the grits. Add chives, parsley, mint, jalapeño peppers, and goat cheese. Enjoy!