M. Parret gave me a shoulder of chevreuil or roe deer that he received from one of his hunting buddies. It was smaller than the boar shoulder and for that I was grateful, but stilled puzzled as to how I should cook it. Well, deer equals venison and I remembered an interesting Navajo stew in “Jamie’s America” cookbook.
In for a penny, in for a pound as they say so I decided to try the Navajo flatbread also. None of that kneading stuff, Jamie! I’ve got a KitchenAid Jamie also recommended forming the breads into circles by patting them out between your hands. I used a rolling pin, just like the old Mexican-Indian lady next door who was born and raised in some no-running-water village in Mexico and was glad to be in America with modern conveniences like rolling pins! Anyway, it was fun and easy to make the bread and I will probably do it again for another dish although my breads didn’t raise as much as Jamie’s. Could have been the kneading and patting out with your hands but probably not. It was probably because I didn’t use bread flour but all purpose. Next time.
I fiddled around with the stew recipe quite a bit so if you want to “do” Jamie exactly, I found the recipe also on the internet http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/venison-recipes/venison-juniper-stew. I didn’t add a bay leaf though; maybe the Navajo don’t use them.
Navajo Venison Stew
1 deer shoulder, boned and cut into chunks(about 2lbs)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 celery branches, sliced
1 tbsp juniper berries, crushed
Leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs, chopped
1 knob of butter
6 sprigs parsley, leaves and stems separately chopped
2 beef bouillon cubes (like Maggi), crumbled and mixed with 2 tbsp flour
1 lb small fingerling or new potatoes, cut into halves
Season the meat with salt and pepper, dust with flour and brown in the olive oil. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, celery, juniper berries, rosemary and butter. Add a few tablespoons of water, stir, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add the parsley stems, flour/bouillon cubes, stir and pour in water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer, with the lid askew, for 2 – 2 1/2 hours until tender.
After the stew has simmered for 1 hour, add the potatoes. Sprinkle the stew with the chopped parsley leaves and serve with Navajo flatbread.
600 g white bread flour
1 heaped tsp salt
2 heaped tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp dried parsley leaves
1/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
150 ml warm water
6 tbsp olive oil
Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and herbs together in a bowl. Create a well in the center and pour in the water and oil. Combine the mixture with a fork and gather together in a ball. Either knead by hand or with the help of a KitchenAid dough hook. If you use the KitchenAid, when the dough is smooth and ready, remove it from the bowl, knead by hand once or twice and you will be able to tell everyone that you have kneaded.
Divide the dough into 8-10 pieces and form into balls. Either pat the balls into circles with the palms of your hands or use a rolling pin.
Heat a non-stick skillet on a medium flame and cook the breads on each side until golden brown.