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Hearty Hunter’s Stew

Moist, tender meat and thick, rich gravy are the hallmarks of my classic recipe simmered in a cast-iron pot. —Joyce Worsech, Catawba, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Cook: 2 hours 50 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 2 pounds boneless venison or beef chuck roast, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4-1/4 cups water, divided
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • 2 medium onions, cut in wedges
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 medium carrots, quartered
  • 1 large rutabaga, peeled and cubed
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  • In a Dutch oven, brown meat in oil over medium heat. Add 4 cups water and scrape to loosen any browned drippings from pan. Add the tomato juice, onions, celery, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Discard bay leaves; add the carrots, rutabaga and potatoes. Cover and cook for 40-60 minutes.
  • Stir in the peas; cook for 10 minutes. Combine cornstarch and remaining water until smooth; stir into stew. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 351 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 96mg cholesterol, 778mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (14g sugars, 7g fiber), 31g protein.

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  • Joann
    Dec 23, 2017

    This stew was great and I am picky. I did not have Tomato Juice so I used canned Tomato Sauce. No rutabaga so I just added more veggies. I like that idea of mushrooms but did not have that either. I can see this also being served over egg noodles. Yummy!

  • mkaskela
    Feb 9, 2016


  • astarzynski
    Nov 19, 2014

    Made at hunting camp everybody loved it.

  • l2bake
    Feb 15, 2014

    Made this the other night and it was SO good. I didnt have rutabaga on hand. But I did add fresh sliced mushrooms and it was very good.

  • judygreunke
    Oct 10, 2013

    I heartily agree with cookieface's comment about being kind to all those making comments. There is no need to be condescending to anyone making a comment or asking a question.

  • Rodatthebeach
    Oct 9, 2013

    No comment left

  • Nonna2U
    Oct 9, 2013

    Good basic recipe but missing a few critical elements.I put all the veggies in bottom of slow cooker. Season beef all over with salt and black pepper. I do not use cornstarch. For 3 - 4 Tbsp flour: I add my herbs & spices. In a bowl or plastic bag, combine meat & seasoned flour. Shake until there's a nice dusting of the meat. Place meat on top of vegetables in slow cooker. In answer to jefinch2: Keep in mind, veggies have water. There will be some meat drippings. The recipe calls for tomato juice. The lid will be on which traps the water content. Plus the steam created from cooking. There's a lot of water content - calling for less water than 4 ½ c in the recipe. I do add a ½ c wine to my stew. I, than, if needed, add enough water or broth to cover the veggies. I add the peas in the last 30 min of cooking. Sometimes I add a green leafy vegetable in the last 10 - 15 min.

  • linda1945
    Oct 9, 2013

    rutabaga is a root vegetable & you should find it in fresh produce section. For slow cooker method, I looked online & you should follow the instructions as listed except I would add the all the vegetables on top of the browned cubed beef EXCEPT the peas. Those I think should be added about 30 minutes before done. Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 4 hours.

  • HomeEcMama
    Oct 9, 2013

    This looks like a recipe I use often. As for slow cooker, I often brown my meat and saute onions and sometimes carrots, but not necessary. Make sure you leave the potatoes in larger chunks or they will mush out. Just add all the ingredients at the beginning and cook. My crockpot cooks slowly, so I usually cook on high all day and then turn in down to low for the last 2+ hours when I get home from work. Stew is a pretty successful crockpot dish and GREAT for tougher meats as they tenderize with the longer cooking times.

  • shonso
    Oct 9, 2013

    What is rutabaga