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I had some dear ragout and let it marinade one day in wine, brandy and with spices. Then I added some fresh vegetables, cold water and put the heat on. Let it simmer for a couple of hours.

The result was OK, but not great (and don't we all aspire for greatness?). How can I improve on this technique? Should I have pan fried the meat first?

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What cut of venison was it? This makes a big difference on how 'best' to treat it. What was only 'OK' about it? –  Gary Apr 4 '11 at 22:25
    
See my reply below. –  BaffledCook Apr 11 '11 at 7:38
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Venison is, generally, an extremely lean meat. This means it responds well to two cooking methods: very very fast and very very hot (grilling, perhaps roasting with a lot of basting, or lard the meat first), or very very slow and moist (braising). This is of course dependent on the cut; loin is best grilled, shoulder is best braised (due to the connective tissue), leg is best roasted.

I wouldn't use plain water as a braising liquid. 50/50 water and red wine, or stock and wine, or just stock... cider would be lovely, so would various juices.

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I cooked it low and slow with water and red wine. But... some cuts were tough and others were tender. –  BaffledCook Apr 11 '11 at 7:38
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