Venison Sauce Piquante
By Hank Shaw
What follows is a general sauce piquante recipe. This Cajun stew uses whatever meat or seafood is available. I’ve seen recipes for sauce piquante using alligator, turtle, frog, crawfish, crabs, shrimp, chicken, venison, armadillo, squirrel, duck and goat. Suffice to say you can use anything.
The only thing I would suggest is to match meat with roux and wine. Light meats with a peanut butter-colored roux and white wine, dark meats with a dark (the color of dark chocolate) roux and red wine.
Always serve this with white rice. And remember, like all good stews, this one is better the day after it’s made.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
- 1 cup peanut oil or lard
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped green pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 5 garlic cloves
- One 6-ounce can of tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, or more to taste
- 3-4 pounds venison or other meat, diced small
- 1 cup red wine
- One 28-ounce can tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
- 4 bay leaves
- Salt, black pepper and hot sauce to taste
- Chopped green onions or parsley for garnish
- In a large, heavy pot like a Dutch oven, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat for a minute or two. Stir in the flour, then turn the heat down to medium. Cook this roux, stirring often, until it turns the color of dark chocolate, about 15-20 minutes. Once the roux turns the color of peanut butter, you will need to stir it almost constantly to prevent it from burning.
- While the roux is cooking, Heat 6 cups of water in another pot to the boiling point. Hold it at a simmer for now.
- When the roux is ready, add the onions, celery and green pepper and stir to combine. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook this, stirring often, until everything is soft, about 6-8 minutes. Sprinkle some salt over everything while you do this. Add the garlic, Cajun seasoning and tomato past and stir to combine. Cook this, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes.
- Mix in the venison, then add the cup of red wine, the can of crushed tomatoes and the hot water, stirring as you add. Add the bay leaves and bring this to a gentle simmer. Add salt and hot sauce to taste. Let this simmer very gently until the meat is tender, about 3 hours or more.
- When the sauce piquante is ready, add any more salt, black pepper, hot sauce and/or Cajun seasoning you want, then serve it with white rice and lots of green onions or parsley. Make sure you have hot sauce at the table; I use Tabasco, but use whatever variety you prefer.