Greetings fellow gluttons! After a few months, I do believe we are all overdue for a little Cosplay in the Kitchen. Joining me on today’s post is my bandmate and fellow flavor-nerd, Nick Picard of The Gin Rebellion and Trader Nik’s Time Traveling Tiki Bar.
After several days walking through the wilderness, armed with pip-boys, primitive weapons, fantastic outfits, and a Mister Handy to follow us and photograph our efforts (who sounded suspiciously like my roommate, The Lady Nerd), we stumbled upon a house completely untouched by the bombs.
It was uncanny, the walls, windows, doors, everything was completely undisturbed and intact. Even the appliances were in working condition, powered by a hydro-generator hooked up to a nearby creek. We took time exploring each room, suspicious of any traps the previous owner may have left us.
It was not long before we discovered the jackpot of all jackpots in these god-forsaken wastelands: A hidden cache of canned food, ammo, nuka cola, and best of all–booze! Nick and I were most elated.
We cobbled together a crude trap from random scraps in the garage and set it in the backyard, baiting it with canned carrots. I drooled in anticipation over the small arsenal of spices we found in the kitchen. Soon that tasty mutant venison would be ours.
The following day, luck provided us a fresh radstag and we were in business. All that tender meat needed was little seasoning…
And waiting as the pressure cooker did the work.
Did I mention waiting? Truth be told, no good stew is a quick affair. You want that meat to cook at a low heat for a long time to absorb the surrounding flavors and tenderize to fall-apart goodness. Dumb luck also provided us with and electric pressure cooker that does the work in half the time of the standard slow cooker. If you are considering picking up one of these, I really can’t recommend them enough. Notice how I say “electric” pressure cooker. Yes, if you know what you’re doing, you can use a stovetop one. However googling “pressure cooker explosions” is enough for me to not recommend them unless you want a recreation of the game’s opening scene in your kitchen.
Waiting was no huge issue, though. We passed the time mixing cocktails, watching old newscasts, and baking my pitiful, last minute excuse for lard biscuits. Nick may have gotten a bit used to the end of the world, though. Though there were glasses and bar utensils a plenty, he opted for a mason jar and an empty can.
When we opened the pot, it was all worth it. This was probably one of the damn tastiest things I’ve ever cooked in my life. Rich, savory, and tender. This stew is nuclear autumn in a bowl.
Now that we’re back in the present, here’s how you can make it too! I understand you are probably not going to be able to shoot a radstag in the backyard, but a local butcher or meat market would be happy to order venison for you at a reasonable price. I know you can order practically anything online these days, but I actually recommend this route more.
The thing about shipping meat? You can expect to pay upwards of $50-60 bucks in the S&H alone. The butcher will more than likely eat the cost for you through their wholesale rates. True you may need to order a bit more than you need, but just weigh and freeze the rest in smaller portions for future use. If you are in the Northeast Atlanta area, I personally recommend Patton’s Meat Market.
Also if you haven’t already dug out the link earlier in the post, head on over to Nick’s cocktail blog for his boozy tribute to Fallout: Commonwealth Lemonade! Also a big thank you to my sister from another mother, and roommate Briana Lamb (The Lady Nerd) for taking photos of our adventure.
Equipment: Electric pressure cooker or crockpot, can-opener, mixing bowl, stovetop (if using crockpot).
- 2-2.5 lbs venison stew meat
- kosher salt and pepper
- all purpose flour
- cooking oil
- 1 stalk’s worth rosemary leaves
- 3-4 sage leaves, chiffonade
- leaves of 3-4 sprigs thyme
- 2 cups diet cola
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 cup water
- 15 oz. can pureed pumpkin
- 15.5 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained
- 15 oz. can mixed vegetables, drained
- 1/2 cup rice
- 2 beef bouillon cubes (or enough for 4 cups water)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- Season meat liberally with pepper and kosher salt. Put about 1-2 cups of all purpose flour into a mixing bowl and coat pieces of venison on all sides.
- Heat up 1-2 tablespoons cooking oil in the pot of your pressure cooker on the sauté function, or in a skillet on the stovetop and cook meat until all sides are browned. Transfer everything from skillet to crock pot if you are not using a pressure cooker.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients (discard leftover flour). Cover and seal the pot closed with cooker lid, and cook on low for 4 hours if you are using a pressure cooker, or 8 hours on low with a crock pot. Season with extra salt to taste before serving.