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Kangaroo Stew (Venison Bourguignon)

2 1/2 lb Venison, cut in stewing pieces
1 sl Bacon, 1/2-inch thick
12 sm Onions, cut up
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tb Flour
1 Bottle red wine
pn Thyme
1 Bay leaf
4 Sprigs parsley and/or
1 Parsley root
1 sm Clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 lb Fresh mushrooms
1 tb Tomato paste

Choose good heavy meat, a very deep red and lightly marbled with fat. Cut it, or have it cut, in cubes about 1 to 1 1/2-inches. If you can, buy the bacon in one thick 1/2-inch slice and cut this into small cubes. Take your nicest, heavi- est pot; put the bacon in it and let it brown and render some of its fats until just golden all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and add the onions. Brown them in the bacon fat. Remove them and let them wait with the bacon while you brown the venison.

Brown the meat thoroughly for its juice gives stews their color and flavor. Toss the meat with a spoon or fork over high heat, seasoning it well with salt and pepper. Let the juices get quite dark at the bottom of the pot as you do this. Return the onions and bacon to the pot and sprinkle the flour over all. Mix with a spoon so the flour can absorb some of the fat. Give it a chance to brown slightly, then pour in enough wine to barely cover the meat. Add a good pinch of thyme, the bay leaf, the parsley and parsley root and the crushed garlic.

Cover the pot and simmer gently for about 1 1/2 hours. Keep the fire very low and the pot well covered. Clean the mushrooms, fresh ones if possible and cut off the bottom of the stems. Don't peel them, it wastes the mushrooms. Slice them and add them to the stew. Their fragrance and taste will mix with the sauce. Stir in a tablespoonful of tomato paste. (The purpose of the tomato paste in this case is just to thicken slightly and give a rich color to the sauce; so don't use too much. It should add a little body to the flavor but no tomato taste.) Simmer for another half hour or so after you have added the mushrooms and tomato paste. Taste and correct the season- ing, if necessary.

Note: This is one of those wonderful dishes which tastes even better reheated. So you can make it the day before.

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