This Venison Stew is so easy! It’s so much healthier than beef, and has just as much flavor. The venison in this Venison Stew is neither gamey, nor tough. It is melt in your mouth tender, in the slow cooker or on the stove!
So, cooking with venison is a learned skill. Because venison is so lean, care has be taken, when cooking. When venison is quickly cooked, the venison must be medium rare. But…. if the venison is slow cooked, it can be cooked to well done. The slower the better.
I quickly brown the venison in a heavy, cast iron skillet, and then slow cook for several hours, on low setting. Like I do for most of my soups and stews, I always cool it down, and then refrigerate, at least overnight. Thisi isn’t mandatory, but the flavor of the stew will be greatly improved!
I mean, when was the last time you ate leftover chili, or stew and didn’t think it was better the second day? There is a reason for that. The flavors have a chance to mingle and have fun together! Then after a day, or two, heat the stew up on high, to take the chill off. When it is hot, reduce the heat to low and continue.
When I make a stew, or meaty soup, I usually just do the meat, mirepoix and spices the first day. Then I add the vegetables that I choose to put in the next time I cook it, in order of the time needed to cook them to the consistency we like them!
No Beef Stock Needed for Venison Stew!
This Venison Stew has no beef stock in it. I find that the beef flavor takes over the stew and it no longer tastes like venison. I make venison stock from some of the bones left, after processing the meat. It then gets bagged and frozen and will last a very long time in the freezer.
In lieu of that, if I am out of stock, I just make sure I brown the meat very well, over high heat. The “fond” (all of the brown stuff left in pan after the browning process), is the flavor you want to use for your stew!
How to make Venison Stew
You don’t have to take two day to make this stew. It is easily made in one day. It is just better the second day!!
- Trim any fat or silver skin from meat. Cut into fairly uniform sized chunks of stew meat.
- Add olive oil to cast pan and heat very hot (if using stove top, use a dutch oven). Place meat in a few at a time so that pan doesn’t lose it’s heat.
- Get pieces as brown as you can on at least 2 sides.
- Meanwhile, dice onion and a carrot.
- Remove browned venison stew meat to slow cooker, if using, or a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium low. Add onions and carrots to sweat for a few minutes.
- Then add red wine and scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add vegetables and wine to crockpot (or Dutch oven) and then cover with water. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low for 4 hours, or longer. Cool and refrigerate over night, or up to 3 days.
- When you are ready to resume the stew, remove from refrigerator and start on high. Peel, then cut up butternut squash into samll chunks.
- Cut up potatoes, carrots and celery.
- Add the butternut, potatoes, celery and carrot to the pot. Reduce heat and cook for about 2-3 hours, until butternut and carrots begin to soften.
- Then add fresh sage, parsley and thyme. (can substitute dry, but reduce by at least half)
- Add herbs.
- Cut mushrooms on the vertical axis, for presentation reasons, only.
- Add to stew. Cook at least 30 minutes.
- When all the veges are soft enough for your liking, add the pearl onions and green peas.
- Make a slurry with cornstarch to thicken the stew. About 3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with warm water. Stir or whisk until all of the chunks are removed.
- Cook for another hour, or so. Stew will turn a nice dark brown and thicken up, when cornstarch is cooked through.
(I do this Butternut Squash Soup with the remainder of the butternut!)
You can pick whatever veges you like in your stews. Quantities are not critical with this recipe either. It’s all pretty subjective. Whatever you like, add to your stew! Peppers are great, corn, beans, you name it! Just go for it and be adventurous!
I hope you enjoyed the recipe today for Venison Stew! For more great venison recipes, click here! Don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list, just below the recipe, so that you don’t miss any new recipes! As always,
Enjoy! And have fun cooking!
Venison Stew, slow cooker or stovetop
- 1 1/2 lbs Venison, cut into cubes
- drizzle olive oil to coat pan
- 1 onion diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 stalk celery
- 1/2 cup red wine
- water to cover
- salt and pepper, to taste. You can adjust later.
- 1 cup butternut squash, cut in cubes
- 1 1/2 cup potato, cut in cubes (4 small)
- 1 cup carrots, cut in chunks (2 medium)
- 1/2 cup celery, cut in larger chunks
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- 1/2 tsp fresh sage, minced
- 5 small mushrooms, sliced vertically
- 1/2 cup frozen pearl onions
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
For Day One
- Trim the venison well, before cutting into cubes. If stove top cooking, use heavy bottom Dutch oven. If slow cooking, just use any heavy bottom pan. Heat oil on high heat. When oil is hot, add a few pieces of venison at a time so that oil doesn't lose temperature. Brown venison on all sides, when brown, remove to plate.
- Once all the venison is browned, reduce heat to medium low. Add a bit more oil to pan. Saute the onion, carrot and celery, scraping up the fond (the brown stuff) in the bottom of the pan.
- Add red wine, continuing, to scrape pan. If using the stove top, add meat back to pan and cover with water. If using slow cooker add meat and the vegetable mixture to slow cooker. In both cases, cook on low for 4-6 hours.
- Let cool and refrigerate, overnight, or up to 3 days.
- The next you cook the stew, add the butternut, potatoes, carrots, celery. and herbs. Cook for 3 hours, or so.
- Add mushrooms. Make a slurry of cornstarch and warm water, make sure you stir or whisk all of the lumps out. Cook 1 hour, or so. Add onions and peas and heat through, about 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Serve.
- Times are not critical, so whatever fits into your schedule, is fine. The times I suggest, are the minimum required to cook the ingredients!
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