Preparing the Meat
Beef or Venison, they both taste great in this stew. Have someone who says they don't like the taste of venison but likes beef? Get them to try this, and as long as your prepare your meat properly they should like this.
Venison like many wild game meat often gets a bad rap for being "gamey" This is almost always attributable to improper field processing or improper preparing. A calm deer is a tasty deer. When a deer is startled they release a whole bunch of hormones into their body. It is possible for these to effect the taste of the deer. A good hunter who can wait for a proper shot will enjoy a better tasting deer. Male deer also are pumped full of testosterone when hunting season is in full swing that can effect the taste as well. Deer need to be properly field dressed and their glands and organs need to be removed as soon as possible for best taste.
Separate your roast into the separate muscle groups with your knife. This will allow you to remove any large hard chucks of fat and connective tissue. Also trim any silver skin from the meat. These steps are more important in the venison then beef. Not removing these in deer can be a cause of the gamey taste. You don't have to get all of it off the meat in beef as the long slow cook times will turn the connective tissue into flavor.
Now cut up the meat into approximately 1 inch cubes. Set your burner to medium high. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Let the oil heat until it starts to mover around by itself and shimmer. Salt and Pepper the meat. Add meat to oil. We want to brown the outside of the meat while leaving the center medium rare. You may have to brown the meat in more then one batch depending on the size of your roast. Don't overcrowd the meat. When the outside is brown, remove the meat into the small bowl and set aside.
When the meat is browning prepare the onions