A Classic French Venison Stew Recipe

Venison stew recipe

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  • Total: 80 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Marinade: 8 hrs
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings

When the weather turns, and winter bobs its head up, then it is time to think about hearty, comforting meals. Something along the lines of a classic French venison stew recipe - which also happens to be so quick and easy to make - fits the bill perfectly. Not only is this dish easy to make, but it is also extremely low in fat making it lean yet with no loss of any flavor.

Wild venison is (when available) strong in flavor, so if you are not a game fan, then look for farmed venison from an ethical source if you can. 

As venison is so lean, it works much better in recipes where it is marinated and long, slow cooked. Choose your marinade carefully as this will add flavors to your stew with red wine one of the best options. The wine imparts tastes that work so well with this meat. Here, the Venison is marinated in a herb, vegetable-infused stock, and wine overnight to add flavor and melt in your mouth texture and then simmered into a quick stew which has the wine added back in. 


  • 2 pounds venison (cubed)
  • 1 cup yellow onions (or white onions, chopped)
  • 3 medium carrots (cut into 1/4-inch slices)
  • 1/4 cup celery (finely chopped)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 5 slices bacon (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups cleaned mushrooms

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for venison stew
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. Put the venison, onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, and the herbs in a glass bowl or casserole dish.

    Cut up ingredients and put in pan
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  3. Pour the red wine and beef stock over the venison and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight.

    Pour red wine over
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  4. Drain the liquid marinade and reserve it for use later in this recipe.

    Drain liquid marinade
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga 
  5. In a large saucepan over high heat, cook the bacon until it turns crisp.

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  6. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

    Transfer bacon
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  7. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the pan. Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery in the bacon grease for 5 minutes, until the vegetables turn soft. Transfer them to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set it aside for a moment.

    vegetables in bowl
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  8. Toss the venison with the flour and brown it in the remaining bacon grease.

    Toss venison in bowl
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  9. Once all sides of the meat are browned, stir in the tomato paste and cook the mixture for 1 minute.

    Stir in paste
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  10. Add the mushrooms, cooked vegetables, crisped bacon, and reserved marinade liquid into the pan with the browned venison.

    Add mushrooms
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  11. Cook the mixture over low heat, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The venison stew is done when the meat and vegetables are tender and the sauce is thickened.

    Serve in bowl
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  12. Serve the casserole with simple, fresh, green vegetables and a spoon or two of lovely mashed potatoes to soak up the juices. 

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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