- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 3 lbs venison stew meat, well-trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes, blotted dry
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp Armagnac
- 3 tbsp D’Artagnan duck fat or unsalted butter
- ½ lb wild boar prosciutto, finely chopped
- 3 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1½ tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 1 750-ml bottle full-bodied red wine
- 1 qt water
- 1 bouquet garni of 5 sprigs parsley, 1 bay leaf, 1 sprig thyme and several celery leaves, tied together in cheese cloth
- 6 slices good-quality white bread
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season venison with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with flour. Sear venison until brown on all sides. Do this in batches, if necessary, to prevent steaming the meat.
Transfer venison to a large heavy casserole. Pour the ¾ cup of Armagnac over the meat, and carefully ignite. Cook until flames subside. Be careful, Armagnac can produce high flames. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the duck fat in a skillet over high heat. Sauté the wild boar prosciutto, carrots, onion and garlic until golden, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Scrape into casserole with venison, stirring to blend. Add wine, water, bouquet garni, salt, and pepper. Bring liquid to a boil over high heat, then lower heat to a slow simmer, and cook, covered, for at least 1½ hours. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, bring stew slowly to a boil over medium heat. Cut each bread slice diagonally to form 2 triangles. Heat remaining duck fat in a small skillet over medium heat, and sauté bread until golden, 2 minutes on each side. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Just before serving, stir the remaining 2 tablespoons of Armagnac into hot stew. Serve immediately with the fried bread triangles.