Fall is the perfect time for stews and casseroles. They taste best when made with local, seasonal produce and simple recipes. In the video, hunter Lisa Müller reveals her recipe.
The campfire is crackling away. With the help of an iron bar, Lisa lifts the Dutch oven into the embers. While the cast-iron pot absorbs the heat, the hunter debones the haunch of the deer she shot earlier. Meanwhile, her canine companion, Alma, gnaws away contentedly on deer bones by the fireside.
The dry summer is now over and the risk of wildfires has passed, so Lisa can prepare her plum goulash outdoors with a clear conscience. “I enjoy using the outdoor kitchen here at the Rhön Bushcraft Camp for my recipes,” the 33-year-old explains. In this first video, she demonstrates how to debone the venison haunch.
- 1kg venison haunch
- 300g carrots
- 400g tomatoes
- 250g mushrooms
- 200g plums
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 shallots
- 1 leek
- 2 garlic cloves
- 500ml water
- 200ml red wine
- Passata (sieved tomatoes)
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 10 peppercorns
- 6 allspice berries
- Bay leaves
- Juniper berries
- Clarified butter
Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and roughly chop the vegetables. Heat some of the clarified butter in the Dutch oven and then brown the meat in it. Add the shallots and garlic. Stir in the tomato paste and deglaze with red wine. Add the passata to the pot, followed by the vegetables and spices. Move the Dutch oven to the side of the embers and leave to simmer for two to two-and-a-half hours.
Lisa’s tip: Leave the silver skin on the meat. It will soften while stewing and take on the same structure as the rest of the meat.
Quarter the plums and mushrooms. Turn the lid of the Dutch oven upside down, place it in the embers and heat some clarified butter in it. Add the plums and mushrooms and caramelize them together with the sugar.
Lisa’s tip: Of course, if you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can also recreate the recipe in your kitchen at home.
Lisa earned her hunting license at the age of 19. “Back then, it was rare for a young woman like me to take an interest in hunting. That isn’t the case anymore,” she explains. She developed an affinity for nature at a young age during trips into the forest with her father. This meant she learned to handle meat when she was only a child. “I was never afraid of touching it,” she says. However, she later explains that actually killing an animal herself was a different ball game entirely. “That said, I knew why I was doing it: to make quality food from it.”
However, Lisa is much more than a hunter. In addition to her main job is as an insurance broker, she also distributes locally grown organic vegetables with her own delivery service. Sustainability and regionality are particular important aspects to her, so she incorporates them into her recipe ideas. “You can’t always get hold of every single ingredient, which forces you to improvise,” she explains. This is also why she finds outdoor cooking so exciting. “You get very unique roasting flavors from the fire and can magic up something special with just a handful of ingredients.” She outlines these ingredients in the next video:
While the goulash is cooking, Lisa cuts up the mushrooms and plums. They combine to create the sweet topping that gives the goulash a delicate final touch.
Lisa serves the goulash in small bowls, garnishing with the caramelized plum topping. After two-and-a-half hours of waiting, it’s finally time to take the first bite. The pieces of venison melt in your mouth, the vegetables are tender but still have bite, and the sweet plums dance on the palate. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the final days of fall, ideally beside a crackling campfire, surrounded by ferns and spruce trees.