Braised Venison Stew with Dried Cherries and Chocolate
3 lbs, venison stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine flour, salt, allspice, black pepper in a plastic bag. Add venison cubes to bag and coat each piece evenly. In a large skillet over medium heat add olive oil, and venison cubes and brown evenly. Do not crowd meat. Transfer meat to a heavy Dutch oven. In same skillet, discard fat, and add bacon and sauté. Add onions, celery, and anchovy filets. Cook over medium heat until onions are soft. Add carrots and garlic clove, continue to brown stirring frequently to remove browned bits of meat, continue to caramelize. Add Cherries, when cherries soften, mix in the sugar, balsamic vinegar and orange juice. Stir frequently, do not burn. Add the wine, stock, tomatoes and sliced mushrooms. Heat on top of stove until boiling, transfer to Dutch oven. Add the bouquet garni, salt and pepper and chocolate. Cover and cook for approximately 3 hours. Serve with gorgonzola polenta, mashed potatoes or Tagliatelle pasta.