Emeril´s Venison and Wild Mushroom Stew with Creamy Polenta

Venison and Wild Mushroom Stew:
6 strips bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
3 pounds Venison Stew Cubes
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
Black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
¼ cup flour
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 ribs of celery, diced
1 large parsnip, peeled and diced
1 leek, white only, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups wild mushrooms, sliced
1 (12 ounce) bottle amber beer
1 ½ quarts beef stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon allspice
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Creamy Polenta:
4 cups water, plus more as needed
4 cups milk, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups polenta
1/2 cup mascarpone
1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano

Venison and Wild Mushroom Stew:
In a large stockpot cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Season the venison with Creole blend, salt and pepper, and lightly dust with flour and sear the venison on all sides over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook over medium high heat until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and parsnips and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the leeks and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wild mushrooms and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until they release their juices. Add the beer and scrape to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, allspice, bay leaves and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the meat is tender and the stock is reduced, about 1 ½ hours.

Add the potatoes to the pot and continue cooking until they are cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. Add the reserved bacon and parsley and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and serve with Creamy Polenta.

Creamy Polenta:
In a large saucepan, bring the water, milk and butter to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the water and whisk in the polenta. Whisk constantly for 3 to 4 minutes to prevent lumps. Simmer for 45 minutes, partially covered and stirring every 10 minutes, until the polenta is thick, smooth, and creamy. Add the mascarpone and Parmesan. Check for seasoning and adjust consistency by adding milk or water to the polenta. Polenta may be made up to 20 minutes ahead of time and kept covered until ready to serve.

Serves 6.

Emeril Lagasse and Team Planet Green