A warm hearty venison stew perfect for a winter dinner with the family. The tenderness and particular flavor of the venison will make you love the cold season a little bit more. It's a simple Italian stew, typical of the Northern mountain regions and you can also try it with beef or other meats.
Origins of Venison Stew
Venison is mostly common in the north of Italy (especially in mountain areas), not so much in Tuscany. If you go skiing in the Alps you might easily find venison stew on the restaurant's menu (or venison ragù, also delicious).
I haven't eaten venison in a while and I was amazed by the tenderness of the meat in this stew and the amazing flavor that I couldn't get with beef or pork. But of course, you can use this same recipe with any other kind of red meat.
This stew is really basic and simple, nothing fancy. Just a perfect recipe for a good winter dinner with the family. It would pair great with other fall and winter comfort foods like this Pumpkin and Porcini Mushroom Risotto, this Sweet Potato Soup, or this Soft Potato and Rosemary Focaccia.
Some ingredients will literally make a difference in a recipe. Use the right cut of meat, the right herbs, and the right ingredients with these few tips.
- Venison. The best cut of venison for stew is from the front legs and the lower part of the back legs. The meat is flavorful and will become very tender in the stew.
- Red Wine. Use a good quality red wine with body and not too acidic to give the best flavor to the stew. Use a wine that would pair well also during dining, like a Pinot Noir, Barolo, or Bordeaux.
- Potatoes. I love a good stew with potatoes, they make it into a full meal. Use waxy potatoes that can keep their shape with long cooking times.
- Herbs. Herbs are a must, to turn a simple stew into a flavorful meal. The herbs that pair incredibly well with venison are bay leaves, rosemary, and of course juniper berries.
You can store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat at slow heat in a pan, adding a little bit of water if the sauce is too dense.
You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.
FAQ & Tips
You can make the same red wine stew with any type of red meat. Try it with wild boar, or the classic beef.
Red wine is one of the most important ingredients in this recipe because not only gives flavor to the sauce, but it will help to balance the intense game flavor of venison meat. The alcohol fully evaporates in the cooking, leaving only the delicious flavor of the wine.
I don't recommend making this recipe much in advance as the meat may become dry and stale when reheated. The best result is eaten on the same day.
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- 10.5 oz Venison
- 3.5 oz Sliced Carrots
- 3.5 oz Sliced Celery
- 3.5 oz Sliced Onion
- 8 oz Peeled and cubed Potatoes
- ⅓ cup Red Wine
- 4-5 Bay Leaves
- 1-2 twigs of Rosemary
- Beef Stock
- Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- ½ tablespoon Juniper berries, optional
- Cut the venison meat in big chunks (about 2.5cm / 1in) and coat them with flour.
- Warm the olive oil in a large pan and brown the meat on all sides.
- Add the carrots, celery and onion and cook for a couple more minutes.
- Pour the wine and let the alcohol evaporate then add the beef stock to cover the meat up to 5cm /2 in.
- Add the potatoes, rosemary, juniper berries and bay leaves and simmer at low heat for 1 to 2 hours. (Add more stock if necessary)
- Adjust with salt and pepper if necessary and serve.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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