Smoky Venison Stew   I have this secret innate drive to be a hunter. It’s almost a childlike fantasy, since I have no hunting knowledge whatsoever. But there is a group here devoted to the sacred side of hunting, honouring the animal, honing in with intuition, blessing, praising this life which has given itself so that we can continue living. A part of me wants to join this group, but another part is terrified at the thought of killing, I can’t even kill a fish without weeping. Those tears don’t necessarily mean that it’s wrong somehow, they are really tears of gratitude. Gratitude for the chance to connect so deeply with the source of my nourishment, and a manifested thank you to drip unto their flesh in hope that this animal, fish, whatever, could know just how honoured I am to take it’s life. Now imagine that with a moose or a deer, how deeply emotional an experience it would be. Something within me strives for that. Perhaps someday I will pursue this hidden dream. Wild meat is so full of power and energy, there is nothing closer to organic, or free range. It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like when there were bison everywhere and the people had no shortage of wild food. Nowadays it’s more difficult to attain, I have heard that even the native Inuit cannot hunt their natural food. Environmentalists have banned them from hunting seals (a main food source) and there is only a certain section of the land where they are allowed. This area is too far for most people to afford to travel to unfortunately. Many have had to succumb to the ‘modern conveniences’ that the gas station has to offer. Way up North you wouldn’t be hard pressed to find a pound of regular grapes for 8$ or generic apples for 2$ a piece.  If there was some way I could bring fresh food to these people I would. The incidence of diabetes is just astoundingly high.  When people very close to their ancestors lineage stray so drastically from the natural diet, extreme ailments occur.  My heart goes out to all of them, whom I’m sure would be using every inch of that seal that sustains them.

On a side note, I worked in a health food store where we sold seal oil in capsules as an omega-3 supplement. Why are we allowed to do this when the people who were here first aren’t even allowed to eat the whole animal and continue to live vital long lives? For anyone who hasn’t eaten wild venison, it is very tender and delicious, when stewed it just falls apart and doesn’t taste very different from beef.

The combination of smoked paprika and dry desert sage in this smoky venison stew combine to make a thick luxurious gravy. I love the addition of wild mushrooms to give it an even more earthy feel but no harm done if you leave them out. It’s so satisfying and rich that I was full before my bowl was finished. Great way to end day 9 of our whole 30!

Smoky Venison Stew


  • 1 lb venison, cut into chunks
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 4 cups stock, either beef, chicken or veg
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dry sage
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower broken into florets
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into chunks
  • handful of heart greens, I used kale and mustard greens.


  1. Heat coconut oil in a large pot or dutch oven, add onion and garlic and cook on low until onion is translucent, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Turn heat to high and add venison to brown on all sides.
  3. Next add the red wine and cook off the alcohol, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add tomato paste, stock, mushrooms,sweet potato and all of your spices, salt and pepper, mix well.
  5. Cover and let this mixture simmer for at least 2 hours or up to 5. If your using a dutch oven, you could also pop it in the oven at 325F.
  6. In the last 10 minutes of cooking add the cauliflower and greens.
  7. Bon Appétit!

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