The Best Venison Stew Recipe
Sep 12, 2021, Updated Nov 09, 2023
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The Best Venison Stew Recipe – rich, delicious, venison stew slow simmered with mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, for the ultimate comfort food stew!
Venison stew is delicious and comforting – and can be made keto or low carb with a couple modifications.
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Easy Venison Stew
We’re going to take you through making rich flavorful venison stew in this recipe – if you love beef stew and you’re looking for a similar flavor from deer meat, you’re in the right place to start.
If you’ve ever wondered what to do with deer meat, making a rich, hearty stew is one of the best ways to start cooking venison.
- This stew is fabulous with store-bought venison meat, or game that has been hunted.
- Great for beginners – if you’ve never cooked venison before, you’ll feel like a pro!
- Can be made keto – skip the potatoes, peas, and flour and add more meat for a delicious low carb venison stew that is bursting with rich flavor that will keep you fueled up!
For this recipe, we recommend using a dutch oven or other heavy stock pot.
Enameled dutch ovens distribute heat evenly, are perfect for stews, and easy to clean. Do not ever wash an enameled dutch oven in the dishwasher.
I’m including affiliate links to my favorite dutch ovens below:
How To Make Venison Stew
Follow our step by step guide below to make venison stew, perfectly, every time.
Anytime making stew or soup, we find it’s easiest to measure out ingredients first and have them all ready to go as you walk through the steps – stew is SO easy to make, but the steps can go quickly, and prepping everything ahead of time helps you stay organized saves you a ton of time as you work!
To make this recipe, we will need:
- Venison stew meat
- All-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil
- Bay leaf
- Tomato paste
- Baby yellow potatoes
- Celery stalk
- Worcestershire sauce
- Beef stock
- Baby bella mushrooms
- Frozen peas
- Cornstarch slurry (optional)*
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following process:
- Prep. Pat meat dry and toss with cornstarch. Wash, clean, and dice vegetables and potatoes, gather ingredients.
- Brown ingredients in batches. Brown meat and vegetables individually in batches, reserving to the side until ready to set up stew.
- Simmer stew. Add vegetables and meat to stew and simmer until fully cooked.
Tips and Tricks To Make Perfect Venison Stew
Our top tips and tricks for making perfect, delicious stew are below:
Scrape up browned bits! I find this is easiest with the addition of a little stock to the pan – they will release right away, and give the most amazing, rich, and delicious flavor to your dish. Don’t let them burn away on the bottom of the pan, scrape up all that flavor and stir it in!
Lightly brown vegetables. Since we will only be browning vegetables quickly for flavor – not making them soft – the stew will simmer for hours until the vegetables are tender and melt in your mouth delicious.
Pat meat dry before browning. It is absolutely critical to pat dry any kind of stew meat before browning – and especially true with game meats that may have been processed by a butcher and thawed (if you’ve hunted and had your deer processed.)
Brown venison in small batches. This helps your meat brown properly, which will develop a rich, hearty, meaty flavor and a gorgeous caramelized brown color instead of steaming the meat.
My Pro Tip
Want to make venison have less of a gamey flavor? Cover with cold water and soak while prepping the recipe to cut down on some of the funky flavors.
How to make venison less gamey. If you’re concerned with the gamey taste of deer meat, here’s how to reduce the funky flavor:
- To get some of the gaminess off the meat, place the venison into a large bowl.
- Cover with cold water while you slice and dice your veggies.
- Pour the water out and continue to rinse the meat until no more red comes off in the water.
- Lay the pieces onto a sheet tray that is lined with paper towels.
- Pat the pieces with more paper towels to get them dry.
Don’t wash mushrooms. I do not recommend washing mushrooms, ever, as it causes them to take on too much liquid – and mushrooms already give off a lot of liquid as they cook. To keep them from getting gummy, and allow them to brown, it is essential to keep mushrooms dry before browning. Instead, use a paper towel or cloth to wipe away any dirt and debris from mushrooms before cooking.
Brown ingredients individually. One of the most important processes in making stew is taking a step-by-step process. It doesn’t really matter what you brown first – but browning meat, vegetables, and aromatics separately and in batches will make sure the flavor develops properly, your vegetables have a perfect texture, and your deer meat and mushrooms have a rich, delicious flavor and don’t have a grey appearance or gummy texture.
Don’t add extra salt initially. We’re not adding salt to this recipe, as we’re using stock – but if you’d like to add more salt, please do so in small batches and taste after each addition. I always recommend cooking with a good quality Celtic sea salt – it tastes “saltier” – but contains less sodium. I prefer Maldon salt as a finishing salt (perfect to top over dishes as it melts perfectly into your meal), or Celtic Sea Salt to cook with.
Make it keto. Want to tuck into this dish but concerned about carbs? To make this stew keto compliant, please omit potatoes, flour, and peas.
- Brown venison as called for in recipe, but in butter and without flour.
- Do not add any potatoes or peas. You can add broccoli, turnips, jicama, or cauliflower if you’d like to have more vegetables in this dish as a replacement for the potatoes and peas.
- You can alternatively add up to a pound more meat instead of potatoes for a super meaty stew.
Don’t add peas until the end of cooktime. If you’ve ever had wimpy, soggy peas in a stew, you know how important it is to get the timing right when adding peas to a dish. Please be sure to add the peas at the end of cooking, so they don’t turn to mush.
Venison used to refer to any kind of hunted game – but now refers specifically to deer, elk, or other horned wild game animal similar to deer.
Venison is leaner than beef, but is very similar chemically – and cooks a lot like a very lean, grass-fed beef, or even bison, would.
Whether or not deer meat tastes gamey has a lot to do with the individual animal, where it lives, and what it’s diet consists of – but compared with a corn-fed beef, venison definitely has a bit more of a grassy flavor and can sometimes have a gamey “funk”.
Cooking venison in a stew, with lots of herbs, red wine, vegetables, and slowly tenderizing the meat helps to develop a rich, hearty flavor that isn’t gamey.
Much like beef, venison that has not been ground is considered fully cooked and safe to eat at a medium-rare temperature of 120 – 135 degrees F.
We will go beyond the minimum temperature for venison in this recipe as the meat cooks slowly in our stew, so it won’t be necessary to check the internal temperature with a digital thermometer, but when reheating, I recommend making sure meat has reached 130 degrees internally after being stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
Venison stew can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days, or frozen for up to four months.
What to Serve With Venison Stew
Stew is one of those dishes that is perfect to tuck into with some delicious soft dinner rolls, an easy no knead bread, cheddar bay drop biscuits, or some whole roasted onions, air fryer asparagus or other vegetables.
You can find the rest of our side dish recipes here.
If you’re looking for a sweet treat to end your dinner on, we love this dish with Easy Blueberry Peach Cobbler, Easy Apple Sopapilla Cheesecake, Cherry Danish Cheesecake Bars, or one of our other easy desserts!
Venison Stew Recipe
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- 2 pounds venison stew meat
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1.5 pounds baby yellow potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 large sweet onion, large dice
- 2 cups 1-inch diced carrots
- 1 celery stalk cut into ½ inch dice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 6 cups beef stock
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, cut in half or quartered
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Cornstarch slurry (optional)*
- Cut stew meat into bite-sized pieces or leave them larger, keep in mind it will take longer to cook if you keep the venison in larger chunks.
- To get some of the gaminess off the meat, place the venison into a large bowl. Cover with cold water while you slice and dice your veggies.
- Pour the water out and continue to rinse the meat until no more red comes off in the water. Lay the pieces onto a sheet tray that is lined with paper towels.
- Pat the pieces of venison with paper towels to get them dry.
- Add the meat to a large bowl and toss with the salt and pepper.
- Add the flour and toss to coat.
- Preheat the oven to 250°F.
- Heat a dutch oven or large stockpot over medium-high heat.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the oil.
- Shake off any excess flour and sear the meat on all sides, not touching in the pot. You will need to do this in batches. Place the cooked pieces on a plate while you sear the rest.
- Take out the last batch of the meat, turn the heat to low, and add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. Stir constantly and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Add the potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Add the meat back and toss to combine.
- Pour in the stock, stir to combine.
- Cover and place in the oven for 2.5-3 hours until the meat and veggies are tender.
- When the stew is done cooking, discard the thyme sprigs, rosemary sprig, and bay leaf.
- In a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter once hot.
- Add the mushrooms, stirring occasionally until charred and cooked through, 4-5 minutes.
- Add to the stew along with the frozen peas.
- Stir everything to combine.
- The peas will defrost immediately.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
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Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven, 5.5 qt., Marseille
Staub 5 1/2-Qt. Round Dutch Oven Color: Grenadine
Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Blue Enamel Dutch Oven (Blue)
Celtic Sea Salt, Fine Ground Resealable Bag, 8 oz
Maldon Salt, Sea Salt Flakes, 8.5 oz (240 g), Kosher, Natural, Handcrafted, Gourmet, Pyramid Crystals
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 598Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 186mgSodium 866mgCarbohydrates 49gFiber 7gSugar 10gProtein 66g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.