Venison stew is the ultimate cold weather comfort food that is both full of flavor and easy to make! Venison, potatoes and carrots are slow cooked in a rich red wine sauce until the venison is fork tender and the vegetables are perfectly cooked.
Creamy Venison Stew Recipe.
Venison stew is one of my favorite ways to enjoy venison! The venison is literally fall apart tender with zero gamey flavor, the potatoes and carrots are cooked perfectly, and the sauce is incredibly flavorful!
A mix of red wine, beef broth and simple seasonings come together to create the perfect, thick sauce to accompany the venison and vegetables, resulting in a hearty, flavorful stew!
Easy to make.
What's also great about this creamy venison stew recipe is that it only requires about 20 minutes of hands-on cooking time, then it gets transferred to the oven to slow cook for a few hours. Your house will smell amazing and your stomachs will be full!
Although slow cooking in the oven is my favorite way to make stew, I also provided directions for the stovetop, slow cooker and instant pot. Use whatever method works best for you!
What is venison stew.
Venison stew is made of small chunks of venison roast and root vegetables, such as onion, carrots and potatoes, that are slow cooked in a red wine and broth sauce that is similar in consistency to gravy. Venison stew is similar to soup, but thicker, creamier and more hearty.
Traditionally venison stew is made with beef roast, but I love to make it with venison, as well! If you don't have access to venison, you can certainly turn this recipe into beef stew instead! Just simply swap the venison for beef chuck roast.
- Olive oil
- Venison aka deer meat
- Tomato paste
- Red wine
- Balsamic vinegar
- Worcestershire sauce
- Beef broth
- Ground thyme
- Granulated sugar
- Bay leaves
How to Make Venison Stew in the Oven.
Making venison stew is actually super easy, yet full of flavor! My favorite way to cook stew is by starting on the stove and finishing in the oven. Sear the venison and make the sauce all in a dutch oven, then cover the pot and transfer to slow cook.
- Sear the venison. Getting nice browned crust on the venison chunks helps to add flavor and seal in the juices!
- Onion, garlic and tomato paste. Sautéing the onion, garlic and tomato paste prior to adding liquid helps to better release their flavors.
- Add venison back in and sprinkle with flour. Add the seared venison back into the pot, including all of it's juices - so much flavor right there! Mix in flour; this will thicken the sauce.
- Liquid and seasoning. Start with the red wine to deglaze the pot, scraping brown bits off the bottom of the pan - this is where the flavor is at! Starting with the red wine also allows the alcohol to cook off. Then add in the remaining liquid and seasonings.
- Slow cook in the oven. I like to slow cook the stew in the oven, but you can also leave it on the stove, cover and cook on low. Alternatively, you can cook the stew in the slow cooker or instant pot; directions are below.
- Add potatoes and carrots. Since the venison takes longer to tenderize than the carrots and potatoes take to cook, I recommend adding the potatoes and carrots halfway through cooking.
- Add peas and serve. Frozen peas don't really need to cook, they just need to heat through, so all you have to do is stir the frozen peas into the hot stew. Serve warm with crusty bread!
For full instructions, see the recipe card.
Slow Cooker Version.
Making venison stew in the slow cooker is very similar to the process of cooking venison on the stove or in the oven.
- Sear the venison and make the sauce. Follow the instructions in the recipe card through step 3 to sear the venison and make the sauce, then transfer the stew from the pot to the slow cooker.
- Add the vegetables. Mix in the potatoes and carrots.
- Slow cook. Cover the slow cooker, and cook on low for about 6-8 hours, or until the meat and vegetables are tender.
- Add peas and remove bay leaves. Stir in the frozen peas and remove the bay leaves.
- Serve! Enjoy with crusty bread!
Instant Pot Version.
What's great about the Instant pot is the sauté function - this way you can sear the venison right in the instant pot, and you don't have to dirty an extra pot!
- Sear the venison. Turn the Instant Pot to the sauté setting. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil until hot. Add half the venison and sear about 5 minutes, until nicely browned, flipping the venison over halfway through. Remove to a plate. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and remaining venison the the pot and repeat; remove to the plate.
- Onion, garlic and tomato paste. Add the onion and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Cook about 5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute.
- Venison and flour. Add back in the venison with its juices, sprinkle with flour and mix together.
- Liquid and seasoning. Pour in the red wine, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Then add in the broth, water, thyme, salt, pepper, sugar and bay leaves.
- Add vegetables. Mix in the potatoes and carrots.
- Cook on high pressure. Lock the lid on and check that the valve is set to seal. Set to cook for 25 minutes on HIGH pressure.
- Natural release. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
- Add peas and remove bay leaves. Carefully open the Instant Pot after all the pressure has released, and mix in the frozen peas and remove the bay leaves.
- Serve! Enjoy with crusty bread.
Frequently Asked Questions.
What cut of venison is best for stew?
There are a few cuts of deer meat that work well for stew! Since stew cooks low and slow, pretty much any cut of meat will tenderize nicely.
Here are some venison cuts that are great for stew: Rump, leg/round, shoulder/chuck, or shank.
When making stew, any of these cuts of venison get cut into 1-2" chunks of meat, ensuring fall-apart tender venison.
Is venison healthier than beef?
Deer are wild, grass-fed animals, resulting in deer meat that is often higher in protein and lower in fat compared to beef.
How do you get the wild gamey taste out of venison?
Even if you don't like the gamey taste of venison, you will still love this stew! Slow cooking venison roast in a mix of red wine and beef broth pulls the gamey taste of the venison, all while absorbing all the delicious flavors of the sauce.
How do you get venison tender in stew?
Slowly cooking venison in broth over low heat for an extended period of time breaks down the connective tissues, while keeping the venison moist. This results in delicious fork tender venison.
Storage & Reheating
How long does venison stew last in the fridge?
Venison stew can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Can you freeze stew?
Venison stew can be stored in an air-tight container in frozen up to 3 months. To serve, defrost the stew in the fridge overnight. Reheat on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently, until heated through.
Whether you're reheating a single serving or multiple servings, I recommend reheating the stew in a pot on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently, until heated through.
I think meat tastes better when reheated on the stove or in the oven versus the microwave. But, that's not to say that I haven't reheated stew in the microwave when I'm in a hurry. So, it can also be done that way.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below! I'd love to hear from you! If you’re on Instagram, share a picture of the food you created and tag me at Modern Farmhouse Eats! I enjoy seeing all the pictures! 😊
Hearty Venison Stew
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds venison roast, cut into 1-2" chunks
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon ground thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound potatoes, cut into 1-2" chunks (about 3 potatoes)
- 1 pound large carrots, cut into 1-2" chunks (about 3 carrots)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add half the venison and sear about 5 minutes, until nicely browned, flipping the venison over halfway through. Remove to a plate. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and remaining venison the the pot and repeat; remove to the plate.
- To the same pot, add the onion and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Cook about 5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute. Add back in the venison with its juices, sprinkle with flour and mix together.
- Pour in the red wine, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pot - this is where the flavor is at! Then add in the broth, water, thyme, salt, pepper, sugar and bay leaves.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover the pot with a lid and transfer to the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. If your pot isn't oven safe, transfer the stew to an oven-safe dish and cover. Alternatively, cook the stew for the same amount of time on the stove over low.
- Add the potatoes and carrots, cover and place back in the oven. Continue to cook about another 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the vegetables and venison are tender. Mix in the peas and remove the bay leaves.
- Serve warm with crusty bread!