Venison Goulash

Venison?…Deer? Yep that is correct! My cousin went hunting this season and gave me the gracious gift of two pounds of venison meat. I had never cooked venison before so I thought it’d be fun to experiment with this unfamiliar meat by making a hearty stew! Back when I studied abroad in Prague, goulash was my very favorite menu item. Goulash a heavy stew served with meat, vegetables and noodles and is commonly found in countries such as The Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany and Austria. I wasn’t sure how this dish would turn out but the results were super tasty and filling. Venison is a really great meat because while it is very lean, it can still easily hold up to bold flavors such as the ones found in this recipe.

Venison Goulash

2 pounds venison, cut into chunks

12-14 carrot sticks

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 sage leaves, chopped

1 sprig rosemary, chopped,

1 sprig thyme, chopped

2/3 cup red wine

1/4 cup butter

5 slices of bacon, diced

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 cup beef stock

5 medium potatoes, quartered

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

1 package of egg noodles

Chop your celery, onion, garlic, and herbs and set aside in a deep bowl.

Pour the wine over the vegetables. Add venison chunks, mix, cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Remove meat from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve marinade.

Melt butter over medium high heat in a deep skillet and sear the venison on both sides, a little less than one minute per side.

Remove meat from pan and set aside.

While skillet is still hot brown the bacon then add the flour. Stir until thickened.

Add in the remaining marinade and stir until mixture is thickened. Stir in cinnamon and cloves.

Chop potatoes.

Add potatoes, marinade/vegetable mixture and meat into slow cooker. Stir to incorporate. Pour beef stock over everything.

Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

Cook the egg noodles 15 minutes before serving.

Stir in sour cream, garnish with fresh parsley and ENJOY!

Dose Market

Last Sunday I headed over to the River North Art Center to attend Dose Market. It was my first time there but I already cannot wait to go back! I had so much fun wandering around and looking at what each vendor had to offer. And the best part about this market? The free samples! I got to try some great bites and discovered some new eateries that I didn’t know Chicago had to offer.In addition to the yummy bites there were many vendors selling gorgeous jewelry, clothing and purses. The next Dose Market in on 12/9 and I will surely be coming back to get some unique holiday shopping done! Here are some of the highlights:

Green Smoothie and Around the World Smoothie from Loop Juice:

Salted Caramels from Truffle Truffle:

Sweet Corn Cake, Beer and Bacon, Confetti and Fleur de Sel Caramel Cake Truffles from Lizzie’s Bake Shoppe:

Bacon Cheddar Biscuits from Uptown Soda Bread Co.:

Some delicious homemade butter from Fayette CreameryĀ in Wisconsin:

My Purchase! Amazing Raspberry Jalapeno Preserves from Thornburg and Company:

aaaand my favorite non-food-related spotting in the market were these cute clutches! They remind me of an upscale version of a brown paper bag šŸ™‚ I like it in the black

If you live in the Chicagoland area do not miss out on Dose market! Its a great way to find some hidden gems in this wonderful city.

Pumpkin Chili

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There is no better fall flavor than pumpkin and no better cold weather, warm your bones dish than chiliā€¦.this recipe marries the two! I loved coming back from work last week after bearing the windy cold and sitting down to this comforting, warming meal. If you like the spicy, zippy flavors of chili and the sweet, melty flavor of pumpkin than look no further. The pumpkinĀ pureeĀ makes the chili have a velvet-like texture and the pumpkin pie spice adds an awakening sweet flavor. By using extra lean ground beef you can cut lots of calories to make this dish easy on your waistline! You can make this right on your stove or even in your crock pot!

Pumpkin Chili

1 pound extra lean ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice

1 can black beans, drained

1 can kidney beans, drained

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoon cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp red pepper flake

1.5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

hot sauce to taste

Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium high heat. Drain excess fat. Add chopped garlic and onions and cook until translucent. Add your tomatoes, beans and pumpkin purƩe and stir until combined. Let simmer for 5 minutes before adding chicken stock and spices. Stir in chicken stock, spices and hot sauce to taste. Simmer, covered, on medium low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Enjoy!