Wild Game Stew

This is special to me.  My dad, Ed, was an avid hunter and fisherman and would have loved Robb Wolf's requirement for proteins, "1. It needs a face.  2. It needs a soul.  3. You need to kill it, and bring it's essence into your being."  I have no brothers, so I would regularly accompany my dad on deer scouting trips and early morning fishing trips.  It's too bad I can't put those skills to use, but there isn't much opportunity for hunting and fishing in Southern California.  I was happily surprised when Ian brought home some venison and antelope a friend had given him, that's about as close to Robb's requirements as we're going to get.  The meat had a wonderful color and was so lean.  I wanted the flavor of the meat to shine through in this stew, so I didn't overwhelm it with a bunch of spices.  This is a real meat and potatoes recipe, dedicated to my Dad.

Wild Game Stew
(Print Recipe)
1 lb Venison steak, cut into 1" cubes
1 lb Antelope steak, cut into 1" cubes
1 Red bell pepper, diced
2 Celery stalks, diced
5 Carrots, diced
5 mini Rutabega, diced
1/2 White onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Sweet potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Oregano
28 oz can Diced tomatoes
2 Tbls Arrowroot powder
1/4 cup water
Salt & Pepper
2 Tbls Coconut oil

Whisk arrowroot powder and water in small bowl, set aside.  Season meat with salt and pepper on both sides.  In a large stock pot, melt coconut oil over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, brown the venison and antelope on all sides, remove from pan and set aside.  Add bell pepper, celery, carrot, rutabega and onion to pot and saute for 8-10 minutes until softened.  Add garlic, cumin, oregano, potatoes, tomatoes and arrowroot mixture to pot.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add meat back into pot and simmer for 20-25 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and stew has thickened.
Note: If you don't want to use arrowroot powder, the stew will be more of a soup, still delicious.  Or you can fish out some of the cooked sweet potatoes, mash them up, and add them back to the pot, which will provide more thickness for the stew.