Classic French Venison Bourguignon Recipe

Venison Burgundy
Venison Bourguinon. Getty Images - Envision
Ratings (12)
  • Total: 4 hrs
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 3 hrs 35 mins
  • Marinate: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings

This venison bourguignon has all the classic warmth and comfort of a more well-known beef recipe but with a rich game flavour.  The slow cooking method used in this recipe and hearty red wine sauce makes it an ideal match for tougher shoulder cuts of venison, which needs a bit more time to cook down into a buttery tender texture.

Serve with a huge pot of mashed potatoes or for a more authentic recipe, try making Aligot.

Do not be put off making this dish because of the huge number of ingredients, it is actually very easy.


  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups strong beef stock
  • 1/4 cup Cognac (or good quality brandy)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch-long pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 allspice berries
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3 pounds venison chuck (shoulder cuts), cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cut into thick slices, and then coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, wiped clean and bottoms trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Steps to Make It

  1. How to make red venison wine stew:

  2. In a large non-reactive container, gently toss together the red wine, beef stock, Cognac, onion, carrots, garlic, parsley, thyme, rosemary, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, bay leaf, and venison pieces. Refrigerate and allow the mixture to marinate overnight or for at least 8 hours.

  3. Preheat an oven to 300F Remove the venison from the marinade and drain it on a clean kitchen towel. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a bowl and reserve the marinade liquid.

  4. In a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, melt two tablespoons butter. Fry the bacon in the butter until it is crisp. Keeping the fat in the Dutch oven, transfer the cooked bacon to a plate. Add the drained venison to the bacon fat and cook over high heat, often turning, until the venison is browned. Transfer the venison to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the marinade vegetables to the fat and sauté them over medium-high heat, often stirring, for about 5-7 minutes. Drain any remaining fat. Stir in the tomato paste and allow it to cook for about 30 seconds. Gradually add the all of the reserved marinade liquid, continuously stirring to form a smooth sauce.

  5. Return the venison and bacon to the Dutch oven, and stir a few times to combine the ingredients. Cover with a lid and cook in the preheated oven for 3 hours, until the venison is very tender.

  6. Using a slotted spoon just transfer the venison to a clean bowl. Strain and skim the fat from the sauce and pour it back into the Dutch oven, along with the venison.

  7. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the pearl onions for about 10 minutes, until they turn tender. Continue cooking them until most of the cooking liquid evaporates. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper to the pan and sauté them, along with the onions for 5 minutes.

  8. Knead together the reserved tablespoon of softened butter and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour to make a beurre manie. Stir the beurre manie into the simmering onion and mushroom mixture and cook it for 1 minute, until it thickens slightly. Add the thickened vegetable garnish to the Dutch oven and bring the stew to a simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve hot.