Homemade Venison Stew

As our sunny Southern weather starts to turn colder and grayer, my body starts to crave the comfort of delicious and hearty stews. 

Chances are if you live in the South you have a friend, relative or significant other who regularly participates in deer hunting. As deer season has now come to a close, we found ourselves with an abundance of venison and I knew just the recipe to honor the deer with. 

A hearty Homemade Venison Stew. 

Venison Stew Recipe

For those who haven’t had venison a word of advice: this animal is extremely flavorless. It makes you wonder why people hunt deer at all for meat. Deer are such lean animals that even the most flavorful part, the backstrap (IE the Filet of Deer), at best tastes like a piece of sirloin steak. 



Not entirely the best meat, but when you know how to turn it into something else and add a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, venison transforms into the most wonderful of dishes. 
Venison Stew Recipe This particularly cold evening we were having my parents and grandma over for dinner and I really wanted to use up some of the 200 lbs of venison we had in our freezer. I’ve also been itching to break in our new Le Creuset Dutch Oven we got for Christmas. A perfect combination that led me to transform the classic beef stew into a wonderful venison stew. Venison Stew Recipe Served up with a healthy slice of baguette from Star Provisions and a smattering of my favorite salted butter from Banner Butter. Truly the best better. If you think butter is just butter then you haven’t had this grass-fed butter. It’s the Kobe Beef of butter. 

This stew left everyone in silence except for the slurping of spoons and sawing of crusty baguette against the cutting board. A true household favorite that I hope you get to try sometime! 

Venison Stew RecipeVenison Stew Recipe

Homemade Venison Stew 

For this recipe you will need: 

2 pounds of Venison. I used cubed steak cut venison but you can use beef stew meat in lieu of venison. 

Butter & Olive Oil (for cooking with) 

6 ounces of bacon diced 

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

1/4 cup of flour 

2 cups of pinot noir 

1 pound of mushrooms thickly sliced

4 large carrots peeled and diced

1 medium yellow onion diced

4 garlic cloves chopped

1 TBSP tomato paste

4 cups beef broth (I sourced mine from White Oak Pastures and it might have been THE reason this turned out so well.)

2 bay leaves

3 sprigs of fresh thyme 

1 pound of baby or fingerling potatoes 

Venison Stew Recipe

This recipe is quite labor intensive for the first 30 minutes so bear with me on the directions but the great thing is, with a Le Creuset dutch oven, this is a one and a half pot meal! So clean up is a breeze. 

Step One. In a large, oven-proof pot (like this one), sauté bacon over medium heat until golden brown and fat is released. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a separate bowl.

Step Two. While bacon is cooking, place venison (dried with a paper towel and at room temperature) in a large mixing bowl and season with 1 Tbsp salt and 2 tsp black pepper. Sprinkle venison with 1/4 cup flour and toss to combine and evenly coat. Transfer venison in batches into the hot bacon fat and cook over med/high heat, until beef is browned (3-4 min per side). Add butter if needed. Cook venison in 2 batches or it won’t sear properly. Transfer browned venison to the bowl with bacon.

Step Three. Add 2 cups pinot noir to the pot and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom to deglaze the pot. Add sliced mushrooms and simmer over medium heat about 10 min. Return venison and bacon to the pot after the mushrooms have simmered. 

Step Four. Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium/high heat and add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add sliced carrots, diced onion and 4 chopped garlic cloves, and saute 4 min. Add 1 Tbsp tomato paste and sautee another minute. Transfer veggies to the soup pot.

Step Five. Add 4 cups beef broth, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper to the pot. Stir to combine and bring to a low boil.

Step Six. Add potatoes, making sure they are submerged in liquid then cover and transfer to a 325˚F oven for 1 hour and 35 min. Venison will be very tender. 

There you have it, an extremely satisfying winter meal that can be used with any red meat you prefer. While this calls for Venison, you can easily exchange that for good cuts of stew beef from your local grocer. 

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Author: Cynthia

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  • We have a freezer full of venison so I’ll have to give this recipe a shot soon! Also loving that pretty blue Le Creuset! We got the same one in the Caribbean color as a wedding gift and I’m always looking for ways to use it because it makes life so easy!
    xo Heather
    Sweet Tea Jubilee

  • This looks amazing!! The one time I’ve ever had venison was in my 5th grade class while studying the Middle Ages…yes random. Anyways I’ve never been a huge fan of stews but I really want to try this! I may have to try it with another meat unless somehow I can find venison at the grocery store? Thanks for the recipe!!

    Keep Sparkling✨

    • Yeah I love venison even if it is lacking in flavor, but you can’t beat this stew recipe! Good luck on your next hunt!

  • Hi, just making this recipe tonight! House smells amazing. I did notice your list of ingredients says fresh thyme but the recipe itself says dried. I used the fresh but I didn’t know if I had missed something in the post. Thank you!

    • Hi Brenda! Yum I am so glad you are trying my recipe! I used fresh thyme, but if all you have on hand is dried thyme that is fine as well! Just go sparingly with dried as it is more potent than fresh.

    • Hi Robin,

      I’m not certain, I’ve never made it in a crockpot, but so long as you brown the beef beforehand and get a nice sear on it, I’m sure it is possible! Just be sure not to over cook the meat in the stew.

      Good luck!

  • This stew is amazing!!! I followed as closely as possible but used back strap from a big buck as we get all of our quarters ground. Didn’t have time to cook in the oven so kept on the stove top on med/low for about 45min until carrots and potatoes were done. If you follow the steps the flavor is out of this world! French baguette is great on the side. Thank you for this awesome recipe!!

    • Jeremy thank you so much for the thoughtful review! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the stew and thank you for the additional tips for cooking on the stove. I’m hoping one of our friends gives us some deer meat this season so that I can recreate it, I miss the flavors so much!

  • I made this last weekend and my Husband LOVED it. We going to have some cold weather this week and he asked me if I would make it again for him. I cubed up the backstrap and it was so tender. I did add Celery and our family loves onions so I added petals of onions instead of chopping. I love your dishes. I have the same set in my china cabinet. Not many people know they are the History of America. We moved a couple years ago and my Turkey Platter “The Declaration of Independence” was broken. I was in tears. After we got settled in I took on the challenge of gluing it back together. It’s not perfect, but neither am I. Thank you again for this recipe. Merry Christmas.

    • Yum Cheryl! I’m so glad your husband loved the stew! If you have any extra deer meat laying around, we’d be happy to take some off your hands so that we can whip up another batch of this ourselves 😉

  • Absolutely amazing! My husband says the best yet! This was a 9 pointer from this year!

  • Love this recipe! Making it tonight for the 3d time. I use venison loin since we grind most of our quarters. This reminds me of an old world style stew, big chunks of meat and vegetables! The wine brings the flavors together wonderfully, and the crusty bread is the perfect side. Thanks for sharing!!

  • I cooked this stew today. I cannot wait for my hubby to get home so we can eat……..I have been smelling it all afternoon long, If it tastes as good as it looks and smells, it will be wonderful. Serving with salad and cornbread,

    • Oooh cornbread! What a delicious combo. Trying to get my hands on some venison this year to recreate it! I haven’t made it in ages. Hope you enjoyed!

  • So, I tried this first with venison, and it was unbelievably good! I don’t currently have venison, so I made it with stew beef. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. The beef was a little tough! Should I adjust the cooking time if using beef? The soup was still very tasty otherwise!

    • I only made it with beef recently, so I’m not certain. Beef does take a little while to break down so I suppose cook the meat longer and then add veg and such in a little later. If you experiment with it, let me know!