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Caribou Rosemary and Partridgeberry Stew

A very interesting combination of flavours here. The sharpness of the partridgeberries balances out the sweetness of the vegetables and the earthy flavour of the rosemary goes well with the caribou. The recipe calls for the potatoes to be in the stew but I always like mine roasted on the side along with some roasted garlic.

Serves 6

2 lbs caribou meat cut in 1 inch cubes (or moose or venison)
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
2 litres caribou stock (or substitute beef broth)
1 bay leaf
2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
3 large parsnip & 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped in coins or sticks
1 ½ lbs small red potatoes in 2 inch cubes or use fingerling potatoes
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1 cup fresh or frozen partridgeberries (lingonberries) (or sub with cranberries)
1 cup chopped shitake mushrooms
Salt and pepper to season. (This recipe can take plenty of pepper.)

Begin by lightly browning the carrots and parsnip in a large skillet in 3 tbsp olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and continue to cook until the onions are softened.

Remove the vegetables to a small covered roasting pan and then brown the caribou meat in the same skillet. Add a little more olive oil if necessary. Add the browned caribou to the roasting pan. Add the bay leaf and rosemary and season with salt and pepper.

Cook in a 350 degree F oven for about 45 minutes to an hour or until the caribou pieces are very tender. Add the potatoes and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are almost fully cooked.

Thicken the stew with a slurry of about 3 tbsp flour mixed with enough water to make a pourable consistency. Stir into the stew using only enough to thicken the gravy to a relatively thin consistency.

Stir in the mushrooms, peas and partridgeberries. Top with a biscuit crust if desired and return to the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or if you have a biscuit crust until it is evenly golden brown. Serve.

Biscuit Crust

1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1/3 cup butter
Pinch salt
½ cup milk

Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Rub the butter through the flour mixture then add the milk and mix until a soft dough forms. Roll out to the size of the roasting pan and lay over the top of the stew. Bake to a light golden brown.

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