Simple Gourmet: Deer (Or Pheasant) Curry Stew

This curry stew is simple to make at home or at camp.

This is such a delicious and easy stew that you’re going to be making at home and in camp. That’s the idea with these recipes: delicious foods with your game meats that are simple to make.

This curry is more of a Thai-style than an Indian-style. You can use just about any game meat from deer or elk to chukar or pheasant. It’s warm and aromatic and terrific for cold days. It also scales simply for more servings. Plus, it reheats really nicely for leftovers.

What You Need

  • >2 lbs Meat, cut into bite-sized cubes. I’m using meat from a deer rump–I think it’s a top round, that big flat piece that comes off the rump; use at least a couple of pounds of meat — stew is always better with more meat
  • 4 Tablespoons Curry powder; yellow curry powder with a turmeric base is best
  • 2 Cans (13 oz each) Coconut Milk
  • 2 White/Yellow Onions, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 4 Cloves Garlic (or more), minced or pressed
  • 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes; use Red potatoes or other thin-skinned potatoes as a substitute; peel thicker-skinned potatoes like Russets. Cut them into bite-sized pieces.
  • 1 Cup of Water
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Dutch Oven or deep pan with a lid
  • Add-Ons:
    • Carrots, scrubbed and cut in thick slices
    • Ginger
    • Sweet Corn
    • Cayan pepper

What You Do

Brown the meat

Get your meat to room temperature and cut it into cubes. I like to use my sous vide machine for several hours or overnight on tough cuts of meat first to make it more tender. With the meat at room temperature, it’s easier to brown.

Preheat the Dutch oven on the stovetop to medium heat. I’m using the Camp Chef Dutch Oven I use while camping, but an enameled dutch oven works, too. The key to browning meat is to not move it once it’s in the pan. Let it get good and browned and one side before stirring. That brown tastes and feels good in your mouth in the stew.

Onions, Garlic, Curry

Remove the meat from the pot and add more oil (or butter) to sauté the onions and garlic. Like the meat, don’t stir too frequently. When the onions start to look a little translucent, add the curry powder and mix together. Stir fry another minute or two minutes.

Saute the onions until they just start to turn translucent. You could remove them from the pot at this point if you like crispy onions in your stew. Add them back before serving.

Coconut Milk & Water

Add in the coconut milk and water and stir well. Bring it back up to a simmering boil. Add the meat back into the pot and let it simmer covered until the meat is fork-tender. This could take 30 minutes if you didn’t sous vide first.

Stir occasionally.

Spuds, Etc.

Once the meat is getting tender, add the potatoes. If you’re adding carrots, corn, or anything else, this is the time to put it in. It’ll thicken a little with the potatoes added.

Add the spuds and carrots and cover until the spuds are tender. I cook the whole thing outside on my Camp Chef pellet grill’s Sidekick burner — this way my house doesn’t smell like game and curry.

Cover and let this all simmer until the spuds are tender, probably 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Speed Boost

If you have a pressure cooker, like an InstaPot, you could cook the potatoes and carrots in that at high pressure for about 1 minute and drastically reduce the cooking time. You could even try it with the meat, but I don’t have experience with that.

Season & Serve

This is going to need salt. Start with a half teaspoon and go up from there, tasting as you go. You could also add Cayan pepper for a little kick.

If you like crispy onions, remove them from the pan before adding the curry; add the curry powder directly to the coconut milk instead and add the onions back in just before serving.

Serve the stew over rice or with a loaf of crusty bread.

If you have more people, just add more coconut milk and a 1/2 cup water per can. You can add more potatoes and carrots and more meat is always a good idea. My number 12 Camp Chef Dutch oven easily holds four cans of coconut milk and spuds. I think I could do six cans-worth in it.

Serve the stew over rice or with a loaf of crusty bread.

Enjoy!

About the author: Levi Sim is an avid hunter, and an increasingly avid shooter. He strives to make delicious and simple recipes from the game he kills. He makes a living as a professional photographer, writer, and photography instructor. Check out his work and he’d love to connect on Instagram: @outdoorslevi

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