Venison Bourguignon

Venison Bourguignon

Rich and Earthy Venison Bourguignon, AKA Frenchy Deer Stew.

Sooooooo, today we’re talking about deer meat. Animal lovers, please don’t be upset. I know deer have long pretty eyelashes and remind us of Bambi, but they also taste delicious and venison offers many health benefits. …in addition, I personally NEED meat. Due to some deep ancestral urge, my body craves it and I feel slightly bipolar without it. Am I forgiven? Sweet!

Ashevile North Carolina

We’ve made some really great friends in the last 7 years we’ve lived in Asheville, NC.  Being a place of extreme contrast we’ve got strict vegetarian buddies and friends that are carnivorous game hunters. We love and respect them all, but I’ve got to say, I love me some meat. Especially meat that I can’t buy at the grocery store.

Venison Stew

A close friend of ours, Brad Wright, owns an archery business called Crooked Arrow Archery selling high quality bow hunting supplies. Brad is an accomplished archer who has placed in the Top 5 in state archery competitions over the last two years. He is a PSE Field Staff member and is also a Pro Staff member of the hit TV Show Antler Freaks. As an avid archer, Brad takes hunting season very seriously. Hunting is not only viewed as a sport, but as an art form and means of providing for his family.

How To Make Deer Stew

Each successful hunt provides weeks of some of the highest quality red meat found in the states. Venison is considered one of the healthiest red meats because it is high in protein, iron and vitamin B, but extremely low in fat.

Brad is not only an archer and hunter, but a great game cook as well. He explained that the “wild” flavor some people have an aversion to is not necessarily based on the natural flavor of the dear meat, but often on poor butchery skills. He revealed that if deer meat tastes wild, brining will tenderize the meat and soften the flavor. Brad generously gave me a 3 pound deer roast (and a giant bone for my dog) to which we both jumped up and down with sheer delight!

Easy Venison Recipes

With this precious piece of protein, I wanted to make something lavish yet rustic. Something that would allow the venison flavor to shine, but offer plenty on contrast. Venison Bourguignon was the answer.

Bouquet Garni

This rich french stew of red meat, red wine, herbs and butter was the perfect way to “honor” the deer meat and delight those partaking. The bourguignon broth is more of a luxurious gravy bathing tender veggies and melt-in-your-mouth morsels of deer meat. I served the deer stew over a bed of roasted baby potatoes.

Something this special takes times. Venison Bourguignon is not a quick throw-together mid-week meal–save this for the weekend and savor it with good wine and great friends!

Bourguignon Recipe


Before I started the Venison Bourguignon, I brined the meat for one hour in salt water and a “Wild Game Blend” with juniper berries from Asheville’s Spice & Tea Exchange. This tenderized the deer meat, helping it to break down better.


Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Venison Bourguignon


3 Tb. olive oil, divided
8 oz. chopped bacon
3 lbs. deer roast meat, chopped into large 2 inch chunks
2 lbs. carrots, chopped into large chunks
2 onions, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 lb. crimini mushrooms, halved
½ cup Brandy
1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine
2 cups Venison stock (sub. beef stock)
2 Tb. tomato paste
1 Bouquet Garni (small fresh herb bouquet with thyme, rosemary and a bay leaf)
4 Tb. butter, softened
¼ cup flour
Salt and Pepper
3 lbs. baby golden potatoes


Heat 1 Tb. oil in a large saucepot. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat until brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Next pat the venison chunks dry with a paper towel and salt and pepper to taste. Brown the deer meat on all sides. Then remove with a slotted spoon.

Add the onions, garlic, and carrots to the pot. Cook and stir for several minutes until the onions have softened, then add the mushrooms and cook another 5-10 minutes.

Add all meat back to the pot, followed by: brandy, wine, stock, and tomato paste. Add 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper and stir well. Then add the bouquet garni and cover.

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for approximately 3 hours until the venison is very tender.

In the last hour of simmering, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Place the mini potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 Tb. oil, salt and pepper.

Roast for 35-45 minutes until tender, tossing once in the middle.

Once the venison is tender, mix half a stick of softened butter with ¼ cup of flour. Use a fork to press into a paste.

Slowly stir the butter mixture into the stew until the desired thickness in reached—I like to add it all!

Salt and pepper to taste if needed.


Lentil Stew

Beer Chili

Corned Venison ~ Georgia Pellegrini

Venison Sausage ~ Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Venison Artichoke and Goat Cheese Pizza ~ Woodburn Venison

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63 Responses to “Venison Bourguignon”

  1. #
    Meredith Ryan — October 12, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

    Just made this today, sooooo good! I’ve long been intimidated by bourguignon but your pictures and directions broke it down beautifully. Perfect dish for a chilly night with a boule of lovely, crusty bread. Thank you for the wonderful recipe, venison never tasted so good.


  2. #
    Robin — November 25, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

    Maybe I missed it. Cooking this as I type. What do I do the chopped bacon? Does it go in during cooking, or just a garnish after?


  3. #
    Julia — December 24, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

    I’ve fixed beef bourguignon from Julia Childs french cookbook and this was every bit as good. I come from a family of hunters so when I saw this recipe I had to make it. Venison is extremely good meat as it’s very lean. This one goes in the recipe box. Oh! Don’t forget crusty french bread.


  4. #
    Lisa B. — January 18, 2014 @ 8:42 pm

    I made this using beef short ribs and venison steak and it was amazing. Thanks for posting your recipe and the pics!


  5. #
    Marc — January 22, 2014 @ 5:41 pm

    As a French I must say that your recipe is really authentic (rare for an American!) one of the most important and known French classic cooking (I’m surprised that it seems not better known outside), but I will add a very important detail in process :
    for extra wine taste and tenderness (recquired I think, for venison, quite hard meat and beef too, which is the frequent use, with the hardest pieces, not good for grill), you must make a marinade 24 hours before cooking placed in a fridge (with the wine, carrots, oinions (hard too) and personally I will add bouquet garni too (everybody’s not agree)).

    And of course quality of the wine is determining! Bourgogne (Burgundy) wine of course (a very fruity type of wine (center of France, quite light, but I guess californian is not bad for that recipe too, and close with Pinot Noir (black) grape and the closest climate with Oregon wine (cooler, Burgundy is a region near Switzerland)))! And eating with the same wine too is perfect (a second (or more?) bottle of course). Bon appétit!

    the version of the missing Bernard Loiseau (quite close but I think Brandy is better than vinegar, I’m agree with you! Bravo for that!):


  6. #
    Kaye Husko — November 15, 2014 @ 9:57 am

    My husband hunts in Idaho each year and usually (pretty much always) brings home an elk. This year I asked him to make some roast for me. We never have issues with gamey like many say, maybe it is how he takes care of the meat (does it all himself) And fed at 9,000 ft or more in Idaho wilderness …well can’t help but be pure goodness. Anyway, I have wanted to try something special and special this was…it was a wonderful recipe and turned out amazing. Meat was tender (I didn’t do the tenderizing at all like you stated) just chunked up the roast and cooked…and it was tender …so I think a lot of times it is the cut and how the meat is cut up and cared for. Anyway…winner winner Frenchy elk stew dinner LOL. The only problem I had was knowing how much fresh herbs to tie into the really didn’t say and I am new to buying and using them (this was my first time) so I cut mine down after starting to cook, as it just seemed like to much. Some guide in how to determine how much would be handy :)


  7. #
    Rosana — December 9, 2014 @ 10:56 am

    DELICIOUS!!!!! It was super-easy to make but you’d never know it by the full, rich flavors. Thanks for the recipe!



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