Vatican Venison Stew

Savory slow-cooked venison stew with potato dumplings.  Simply heavenly.


2 - 3 pounds venison, cut into 2" cubes

2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons salt

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large onions, chopped

2 cups red wine

2 quarts chicken stock

1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon EACH salt and pepper

For dumplings:

3 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and chunked

4 tablespoons butter, softened

2 eggs

2 teaspoons salt

2 cups flour


Marinate venison in milk mixed with salt in refrigerator 5 hours or overnight.  Drain and brown in vegetable oil in a large pot.  Remove meat to a bowl and cook onions in same pot until tender.  Add wine, chicken stock, tomato paste, bay leaves, salt, pepper and venison.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 2 1/2 hours.  After about 2 hours, make dumplings:  boil potatoes in a large saucepan until tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain, return to saucepan and add butter, eggs, salt and flour.  Mash together with a fork.  Drop tablespoons full into venison pot and let cook 15 minutes.  Remove bay leaves and discard.  Serves 6.