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Need crockpot (and venison) advice!

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  • Need crockpot (and venison) advice!

    I bought a slow cooker (= crockpot), and I'm a bit hazy on how long things take. First I tried stock with venison bones (hooray for real butchers). Hm... 11 hours of slow simmer later, I've drained off the stock & I'm boiling it down, but the bones look less cooked and bleached than I'd expect. (But I've only used beef bones before, so I don't know... maybe venison's different?) Should I have given it longer?

    Next task: diced venison to stew. How long? Low or high setting?

    And any tips on keeping the venison tasting of something? I tried stewing venison on the stovetop years ago, and it didn't have much flavour. Maybe I cooked it too long or too hard or something?

  • #2
    One of the revelations for me in the Primal Cookbook was stock in the crockpot. I've only done chicken stock so far, but per the book, cook it for 24 hours. It's AMAZING the difference between the watery, bland, pale-colored stock at 12 hours, vs the dark, rich, flavorful stuff at 24 hours. I also think the tip to include a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar is great--helps to leach all the good stuff out of the bones.

    I assume all this would be true with venison too?

    I can't help with the rest of your question--I've never tasted venison, let alone cooked it
    Liz.

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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    • #3
      I'm sure you're right... should've been 24 hours or longer, since deer have bigger, denser bones than birds. Ah well... too late this time, the bones are in the bin, and the end result is still pretty good.

      You should try venison. Everyone (who lives a long way away from me) should try venison.

      Still need help with stewing it, though, if anyone's got any ideas...?

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      • #4
        I leave my slow cooker set to low and I find that it takes six or eight hours to get some country style pork ribs or something cooked all the way. It also helps to stir them a time or two along the way as well. I normally put the food that I want to cook in mid to late morning that I plan on having for dinner. One of mine is larger so, sometimes I have to kick it up to the higher setting to keep it on pace with the smaller one.
        http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lizch View Post
          One of the revelations for me in the Primal Cookbook was stock in the crockpot.
          *sigh* I tried it too hoping for good results, no dice! Very sad. I have the worst luck with any sort of chicken stock or soupness, for some reason.

          Venison sounds great -- glad it turned out OK!
          "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jenny View Post
            *sigh* I tried it too hoping for good results, no dice! Very sad. I have the worst luck with any sort of chicken stock or soupness, for some reason.

            Venison sounds great -- glad it turned out OK!
            What happened? I make it weekly and have yet to have anything but awesome stock from it. Either our tastes are different or we're making it differently.
            Liz.

            Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
            Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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            • #7
              Yeah Jenny I made it too and have had sucess, it was the best tasting broth I have ever made.

              To the OP, next time set it on low for a whole 24 hours that will solve your problem. I <3 the crockpot, right now I have some garlic lime chicken cooking away and will try to update my blog later with the pics of the finished product.
              ~*Lori*~
              my Primal journal : http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...-momofredheads
              my food blog http://iamhungrywhatsfordinner.blogspot.com/

              SW 231 as of 1/1/2012
              CW 192

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lizch View Post
                What happened? I make it weekly and have yet to have anything but awesome stock from it. Either our tastes are different or we're making it differently.
                It was just super-watery and unpleasant. And believe me, I used hardly any water -- it didn't even cover. I let it run for 24 hours hoping it would get better, instead it just got nasty. Nothing like stock at all! I tried it once with a roast chicken carcass and once with raw chicken broken up. Baffling.

                People keep giving me "foolproof" chicken soup recipes and none have ever worked! I have a black thumb for this apparently.

                But anything with beef marrow broth? No problem, I make that all the time. (Mysterious!)
                "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."

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                • #9
                  Well, I have just made some ace stock from two (organic free range) pigs trotters! Roasted them until brown, put in slow cooker with 8 dried bay leaves, four cloves, teaspoon black pepper corns and boiling water to cover and the juice of a lemon.

                  They have been on 24 hours and the stock is amazing. BUT - I am sure my slow cooker is quite a quick cooker. It is above a simmer - the bubbles are vigorous enough to come out f the side of lid (there is no steam vent) so I am always wiping the work surface, and adding more boiling water.

                  Jenny, I can't understand your problem with chicken bones. Are there, perhaps, not enough bones? If you use two or three carcasses from roast chickens and add bay, water to cover by an inch, the juice of a lemon and cook 24 hours - well, I get SUPERB thick stock - it jellies so you can almost cut it!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jenny View Post
                    It was just super-watery and unpleasant. And believe me, I used hardly any water -- it didn't even cover. I let it run for 24 hours hoping it would get better, instead it just got nasty. Nothing like stock at all! I tried it once with a roast chicken carcass and once with raw chicken broken up. Baffling.

                    People keep giving me "foolproof" chicken soup recipes and none have ever worked! I have a black thumb for this apparently.

                    But anything with beef marrow broth? No problem, I make that all the time. (Mysterious!)
                    Maybe you need lots of water to leach the good stuff out of the bones? I always cover the carcass, and add the apple cider vinegar. I've only made the recipe following on for making the Easy Slow Roast Chicken recipe from the book. Maybe that helps rather than use roast or raw?
                    Liz.

                    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A dash of acid (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar?) might help get more good out of the bones. Stock can be less than delicious, but adding the right seasonings later, and cooking the veggies only in the last phase (so they don't get overcooked), can help a lot. A dollop of sour cream at the time of serving and just a little sea salt completes the transformation to delicious.

                      I usually start with the cooker on "high" for an hour or two, to sterilize any baddies on the outside of the meat, then turn to low and let it go a really long time, till all the cartilage is soft or dissolved and everything falls apart.

                      I just bought a bigger crockpot, because the 2.5 quart one I have isn't big enough for some of the grassfed lamb and beef cuts I want to cook in it. The good ones are those with the major joints and cartilage and tendons, which is what makes the good stock. It turns to aspic (it gels) when it is cooled in the fridge.

                      I don't throw away the bones. After they've had everything cooked off them, and I've nibbled on the softer parts of them, I let them dry, and then put them in the corner of the firebox of my wood stove. They get all crumbly, and then they go into the garden beds. Perfectly good minerals in exactly the right form for soil organisms (and therefore plants) to take advantage of -- why waste them in a landfill?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by piano-doctor-lady View Post
                        A dollop of sour cream at the time of serving and just a little sea salt completes the transformation to delicious.
                        +1 for making broth on the stove-top, and +1 for a dollop of sour cream! I also cook mine on the stove (usually roasted chicken bones or turkey carcass), and I seriously reduce. I don't dispute the ease of crockpot preparation, but, for me, the slow reduction from long simmering on the stove is key. I'm not greatly experienced with the crockpot or slow-cooker, but I have used one and thought the results a bit watery, mainly because the crockpot, by design, doesn't vent and so fails to reduce liquids while cooking. (Is this why so many crockpot recipes call for soup mixes or condensed soups--to compensate for the lack of reduction?)

                        Yes, on the stove, you do need to add water from time to time and generally attend to it, so I only make broth on weekends, when I have that time. Given enough time and reduction, though, any broth will develop enviable "curves." And a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of sea salt, as per piano-doctor-lady, will make even a skinny-mini broth billow into lusciousness.

                        Either way, crockpot or stove-top, just cook the bones, for a long long long time, very slowly; reduce the liquid; then serve up the soup with fat and salt. It's all good.

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