I've been making this stew for years. Even my non-hunting friends love this stew...tender and flavorful. Fresh herbs are best, but dry is OK.
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dry)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup flour
1 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 lbs venison, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 package of Lipton onion soup mix
1 bay leaf
2 cups V-8 juice (more as needed)
2 cups water (more as needed)
2 cups sliced sauted mushrooms
3 sliced carrots (1 inch cuts)
1 large onion, diced and sauted
4 medium potatos, 1 inch cubes *(parboil 5-6 minutes before adding)
Pepper to taste
Put thyme, salt, pepper and flour in a plastic bag. Toss meat to coat. Put oil in oven-proof dish, add coated meat and bake uncovered at 450 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring x 3.
Reduce heat to 350 and add soup mix, bay leaf, sauted onions and mushrooms, 2 cups V-8 and 2 cups water. Stir, then bake covered for 1 hour. (check every 20 minutes and add liquid* to cover stew as needed) * "liquid" is a 50/50 mix of V-8 and water
Add vegitables and bake another hour covered.
Melt 1 tbs butter is sauce pan, the add 1 tbs flour...mix constantly for 2-3 minutes. Remove stew from oven and place on stovetop. Slowly, while stirring, add butter/flour mixture...bring stew to boil, check potatoes to make sure they are cooked, then eat with crunchy bread and cold beer.
It's a bit of a production, but well worth it.
Keep life simple...if you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.