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Cozy up to a bowl of Venison Stew, made with lean protein, red wine, and lots of winter vegetables. If you’re lucky enough to have venison on hand, add this recipe to your menu immediately.

Bowls of venison stew on a table.

This Venison Stew recipe is rich, hearty, and the perfect way to enjoy venison. Whether you hunted recently or have a freezer full of it, it’s great to build up a repertoire of recipe favorites that you can turn to.

I grew up in a family of hunters, so most of the meat of my childhood was venison. I enjoy the gamey taste, but I know not everyone does. I’ve included my tips below for reducing that wild flavor (a soak in a milk bath!), while the recipe itself showcases plenty of strong flavors like lots of fresh vegetables, garlic, and red wine.

Whether venison is an old favorite or a new flavor, this stew recipe is a great way to showcase, and enjoy, your venison.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Venison Stew Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for venison stew.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Venison: This meat from deer is smoother and firmer than beef with an earthy flavor, often with hints of the acorns, savory plants, and herbs that the deer enjoyed during its life (if it was wild). If you are concerned about the gamey taste of venison, you can mellow that flavor by soaking venison in milk, in your refrigerator, for 2 days. This tenderizes the meat, too. No venison? Substitute beef stew meat and nothing in the recipe has to change.
  • Red wine: My favorite wines for stews, Pot Roast, and Beef Bourguignon are Côtes du Rhône or Pinot Noir. Or, you can substitute more chicken broth.
  • Thyme: Fresh rosemary (instead of or in addition to) would be great in this stew, too. The bay leaf is essential.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Pat venison pieces dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half the meat and cook in a single layer without moving until browned on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip each piece of venison and continue cooking until browned on the other side. Transfer to a bowl. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil and repeat with remaining venison. Transfer to the bowl.
Browning cubes of venison in a pot.
  1. Heat the last tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add onion and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Celery and onions cooking in a pot.
  1. Stir in flour and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. To the pot, add tomato paste, red wine, chicken broth, thyme, bay leaves, and browned venison with accumulated juices, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour. Stir in potatoes and carrots. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook 1 hour longer, until venison is tender.
Venison stew simmering in a pot.
  1. Remove bay leaves and any thyme stems. Off the heat, stir in peas and cover for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bowls of venison stew on a table.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This Venison Stew recipe makes about 12 cups of stew, enough for 8 hearty servings, 1 ½ cups each.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: Venison stew tastes even better the second day, so consider making it a day or 2 in advance.
  • Freezer: Freezing potatoes makes them soft and grainy, so if you want to freeze the stew, consider omitting the potatoes. Add them when reheating the stew, or consider serving the stew over mashed potatoes instead. To freeze the stew, cool it completely, then pack in freezer-safe containers. Label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Bowls of venison stew on a table.

Recipe FAQs

How do you reduce the gamey taste of venison?

To reduce the gamey taste of venison, soak it in milk in your refrigerator for about 2 days. This tenderizes the meat, too.

Venison Chili

This easy Venison Chili recipe is hearty and delicious, perfect for the cold months of hunting season or any time you have ground venison in your freezer. When you’re lucky enough to have a freezer…

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More cozy soups

Venison stew in a white bowl.

Venison Stew

Cozy up to a bowl of Venison Stew, made with lean protein, red wine, and lots of winter vegetables. If you’re lucky enough to have venison on hand, add this recipe to your menu immediately.
5 from 57 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs
Servings 8 servings (1 ½ cups each)
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Calories 193

Ingredients 

  • 1 (3 pound) venison roast cut into 1½ -inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 2 onions diced
  • 2 celery ribs finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine or chicken broth (see note 2)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried (see note 3)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes scrubbed and quartered
  • 4 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Instructions 

  • Pat venison pieces dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half the meat and cook in a single layer without moving until browned on one side, about 5 minutes.
  • Flip each piece of venison and continue cooking until browned on the other side. Transfer to a bowl. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil and repeat with remaining venison. Transfer to the bowl.
  • Heat the last tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add onion and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in flour and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. To the pot, add tomato paste, red wine, chicken broth, thyme, bay leaves, and browned venison with accumulated juices, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour.
  • Stir in potatoes and carrots. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook 1 hour longer, until venison is tender. Remove bay leaves and any thyme stems. Off the heat, stir in peas and cover for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Venison: This meat from deer is smoother and firmer than beef with an earthy flavor, often with hints of the acorns, savory plants, and herbs that the deer enjoyed during its life (if it was wild). If you are concerned about the gamey taste of venison, you can mellow that flavor by soaking venison in milk, in your refrigerator, for 2 days. This tenderizes the meat, too. No venison? Substitute beef stew meat and nothing in the recipe has to change.
  2. Red wine: My favorite wines for stews, Pot Roast, and Beef Bourguignon are Côtes du Rhône or Pinot Noir. Or, you can substitute more chicken broth.
  3. Thyme: Fresh rosemary (instead of or in addition to) would be great in this stew, too. The bay leaf is essential.
  4. Yield: This Venison Stew recipe makes about 12 cups of stew, enough for 8 hearty servings, 1 ½ cups each.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  6. Make ahead: Venison stew tastes even better the second day, so consider making it a day or 2 in advance.
  7. Freezer: Freezing potatoes makes them soft and grainy, so if you want to freeze the stew, consider omitting the potatoes. Add them when reheating the stew, or consider serving the stew over mashed potatoes instead. To freeze the stew, cool it completely, then pack in freezer-safe containers. Label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 193kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 4gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 263mgPotassium: 584mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 5304IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. This was a great recipe! Neighbors gave us 2 packets of venison. Normally I just fry up onions and then quickly fry the venison so it’s still rare-ish. But I had the idea it would make a good stew and found this recipe. The only problem was that the venison had what seemed like lots of silverskin or tendon and trimming it took forever. But the extra effort paid off as the venison in the stew was tender. Our venison was not a roast; one packet was 1/2 inch slices and the other was lots of very small pieces, so getting 1 1/2 inch chunks was impossible. I just did the best I could and it worked out fine. The potatoes were tiny little potatoes that I didn’t have to cut up, they were so small. My husband and I had 3 meals out of this: the first night we had just the stew as is. The second night I served the stew over egg noodles. The third night I had the idea that it would be really good with mushrooms. So I sautéed pretty finely chopped carrots and celery, added 8oz sliced mushrooms, and when the veggies were done, followed instruction #4, using half the amounts in order to make more gravy in the stew. I heated up the remainder of the original stew in a pot, added the mushroom mixture, and finally the leftover noodles. Really delicious—thank you, Meggan!!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much Nancy for taking the time to write about this stew! I love how you used the leftovers… egg noodles, yes! Mushrooms… yes! Sounds delicious. Thank you again! Take care and Happy Thanksgiving! – Meggan

  2. This is by far the best venison stew recipe we have made. We love the overall rich flavour combination, the vegetables come out just right. Browning the meat before cooking it in the stew adds that roast meat type flavour. Really delicious. If using deer sometimes there is a strong wild aroma and taste to the meat. Not everyone likes this wile taste which can sometimes be overpowering. The trick I have found here is to marinade the deer after it is cubed in a 50/50 white vinegar and water solution with about 1tsp of salt dissolved in the solution. Usually 2/3cup each of vinegar and water are sufficient. Marinade in the solution overnight in the refrigerator (6hrs is usually more than sufficient).5 stars

  3. Hi,

    I made this and followed this recipe exact and my venison was very tough. What am I doing wrong? Flavor was amazing.

    1. Hi Stefania, I’m so sorry your stew was tough! It’s possible that the stew may have simmered too long for the heat it was getting. Otherwise, depending on the cut, it might be possible there was still some silver skin on the chunks that would contribute to a chewy texture. I’m so sorry again! – Meggan

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