Well, the recipe that can be found here. I went with the ‘use bacon grease and add the cooked bacon’ option: the whole thing came out very nicely, although I probably made a mistake at putting the cooked bacon in before I let it simmer for forty-five minutes. My wife isn’t sure about that; she liked the general of-pork flavor of the dish. It is not a zesty stew as described, though: salt and pepper at the least, possibly more spices.
I really should revisit Skyrim at some point. See what the modders have been doing with it since the last time.
A commenter wanted the recipe for the venison stew I ate earlier today – which I don’t have, because I didn’t make it. But I can make a couple of helpful suggestions in general:
- Brown the meat in the pot that you’re going to to be making the stew in. Toss in some onions and minced garlic there, too.
- Yes, I’m going to tell you: cast iron. Just use it, OK? – Cliche or no.
- Use stock or broth instead of water. Heat that up before you add it to the meat.
- The real – the absolutely real – trick to stew is to leave the damn thing alone. Give the meat & broth some time to simmer. Like a couple of hours.
- Add your vegetables well after that simmering.
- Wait some more. LEAVE THE STEW ALONE WHILE YOU’RE DOING IT.
- Don’t go nuts. Onions, carrots, potatoes, a bay leaf or two, pepper, salt… oh, and a handful of rice. I used to put in peppers and mushrooms, only nobody noticed when I didn’t. Your mileage will vary on this one.
All in all, a good stew is something you assemble over the course of an afternoon.