Southern hunters have been stalking the whitetail deer for centuries. I can still remember my uncle Robert showing up periodically at the house with a side of dressed venison, which Mother would cut into steaks or roasts or use to make various stews and braised dishes. Mature fresh venison must be marinated to tenderize the meat and tame the gamey flavor, but since the frozen venison available in most markets today is much younger, it really needs no initial marination. And, besides, just the long, slow simmering in this recipe is enough almost to guarantee succulent, tender meat. When there’s an option on cuts, I always choose shoulder of venison over round or rump, since the proportion of fat in the former produces both ideal flavor and texture.
In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper, mix well, and dredge the venison in the mixture, tapping off the excess flour. In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter over moderately high heat, add the floured venison, and brown on all sides. Add the vermouth and jelly and stir well, scraping up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the celery, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, cloves, and beef broth, reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour. Add the potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips, and salt and pepper to taste, return to a simmer, cover, and cook till the venison is very tender, about another hour, adding more broth if necessary.
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