I have never really been a big fan of the crock pot, I feel like to many recipes try to adapt themselves to the crock pot and don't really turn out very nice. There are of course exceptions to that, an old friend of mine used to throw a brisket in the crock pot with taco seasonings and some onion and make some pretty fine shredded beef tacos. Pork butts are another good thing for the crock pot, if you are hosting a get together and need to feed 20-30 people cheap and easy a nice pork but seasoned properly and left on low over night will do the trick. That is part of the appeal of the crock pot for some people, you can add everything in and not have to worry about it until its time to eat.
One of my favorite things to make in the crock pot is a venison stew. It is a great way to use up some of those odd pieces that have a little to much sinew to grind but are to big to waste. The low heat for long periods of time breaks down that sinew that adds a nice texture to your stew and helps thicken it up. This is a very basic stew recipe and can be changed in what ever way you want. You can add pretty much anything to it to make it your own and it turns out delicious every time. I like a lot of root vegetables in my stews, so I add parsnips and potatoes and carrots along with a little onion and some garlic cloves.
One of the problems that can occurs when cooking venison in the crock pot is that the meat can get stringy and dry out. To prevent this from happening I like to dredge each pieces of venison in a flour mixture and then brown each piece in bacon fat before putting it in the stew. I have found that this helps prevent that dry stringy meat from happening. One other trick that I like to use with stew meat is to add a little cinnamon to the flour before dredging. Sometimes with the meat I use for stew you end up with some pieces that can be a little powerful in flavor. I have found that the cinnamon cuts that a bit and can make some of those gamey pieces a little more palatable.
Easy Crock Pot Venison Stew
2 pounds venison cut into one inch cubes
2-3 medium carrots Roughly chopped
3 parsnips Roughly chopped
3 potatoes peeled and Roughly chopped
1 onion Roughly chopped
5 cloves of garlic
2 pints of tomato sauce
4 sprigs of thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 cup Bacon Fat
1. Combine the flour, cinnamon and seasoned salt together and dredge the venison chunks in the flour. Then fry in bacon fat for about a minute on each side.
2. Place all the ingredients in a crock pot with whatever left over bacon fat and cook on low for 8 hours. Stir the stew every couple of hours and season with salt and pepper.