A Spicy Perspective

Venison Bourguignon

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This Venison Bourguignon Recipe is a rustic and flavorful dish that combines tender pieces of venison with classic French elements, inspired by the French beef bourguignon. The result is a hearty and savory deer stew that with deep earthy flavors!

Venison Bourguignon in a white bowl.

Why You’ll Love This Venison Bourguignon Recipe

If you have never had bourguignon before, you are in for a real treat! Bourguignon is a French dish that braises red meat in a red wine sauce over a long period of time in order to get juicy, tender pieces of meat! It is usually made with beef, but if you, like me, have had a neighbor or friend share venison meat with you, then make it with venison!

After being gifted 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 of contrast. Venison Bourguignon was the answer.

Venison is considered one of the healthiest red meats because it is high in protein, iron, and vitamin B, but extremely low in fat.

Since it is low in fat though, it is essential to cook it the right way. By braising it with flavorful vegetables and aromatics and a deeply flavored red wine sauce, the venison will turn out extremely tender and absolutely decadent!

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 venison 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.

Venison Stew in a white bowl with a side of potatoes.

Ingredients You Need

This venison bourguignon recipe has a long list of ingredients, but don’t get scared! It is actually very simple to make. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bacon
  • Deer Meat – cuts of venison like tenderloin, venison backstraps, venison steaks, or a venison roast – substitute with beef for “boeuf bourguignon”
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms – cremini or button mushrooms
  • Brandy
  • Dry Red Wine – stay away from anything sweet
  • Venison or Beef Stock
  • Tomato Paste
  • Thyme, Rosemary & Bay Leaf
  • Butter & Flour
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Mini Potatoes – for serving
Ingredients needed for venison bourguignon.

How to Make Venison Bourguignon

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large sauce pot or dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat until brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

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. You can do this in batches if needed so each chunk has enough room to get a good sear!

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 the meat back to the pot, followed by brandy, wine, stock, and tomato paste. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and stir well. Then add the bouquet garnis (bundle of thyme, rosemary and bay leaf) and cover with a lid.

Venison bourguignon in a dutch oven with tomato paste added

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

In the last hour of simmering, preheat the oven to 450 F. Place the mini potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes until tender, tossing once in the middle.

Once the venison is tender, mix half a stick of butter with 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour. Use a fork to press into a paste.

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

Add salt and black pepper to taste if needed. Serve hot with a side of roasted potatoes!

Serving Suggestions

With all the lovely gravy that is made in the process of making bourguignon, it is best to serve this with something that will soak it all up! I like to serve it over a bed of roasted mini potatoes, but you can also opt for fluffy mashed potatoes or even rice!

Some garlic bread or your favorite crusty bread would also go amazingly on the side!

roasted potatoes for venison stew recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between bourguignon and stew?

If you have ever seen the movie Julie & Julia, you know that Julia Child is famous for her beef bourguignon. But bourguignon and stew look very similar. The main difference between French bourguignon and stew is the presence of red wine. If you leave out the wine and replace it with beef or venison broth, you will have a stew instead!

Why is my venison stew tough?

If you find that the venison chunks in your stew are tough, it might be that you didn’t cook it long enough! You have to simmer this venison bourguignon for at least 3 hours, if not even longer depending on the size of your chunks of meat!

pot of venison bourguignon overhead shot with herbs

Venison Stew Tips & Tricks

  • Something this special takes time. 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!
  • 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. I recommend brining it in at least some salt water beforehand, and then pat dry with paper towels!
  • When choosing a red wine to use for cooking, go with something that is not too expensive but not terribly cheap either. You want to use a wine that you enjoy drinking. Since the wine cooks down, the flavor will really concentrate and shine through!
Big pot of venison bourguignon on a table with ladle.

Looking for More Decadent Dishes to Try? Be Sure to Check Out:

Venison Bourguignon Recipe in bowl
Venison Bourguignon in a white bowl.
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5 from 24 votes
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Venison Bourguignon Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
Venison Bourguignon is a rustic and flavorful dish that combines tender pieces of venison with classic French elements, inspired by the French beef bourguignon. The result is a hearty and savory deer stew that with deep earthy flavors!
Servings: 6


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 8 ounces chopped bacon
  • 3 pounds deer roast meat chopped into large 2-inch chunks
  • 2 pounds carrots chopped into large chunks
  • 2 onions roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 pound crimini mushrooms halved
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 750 mL dry red wine
  • 2 cups venison stock or beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bouquet garni a small fresh herb bouquet with thyme, rosemary and a bay leaf – tied together
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 pounds baby golden potatoes


  • Heat 1 tablespoon 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 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon 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 tablespoons 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 1/4 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.



Serve with the roasted baby potatoes or go for fluffy mashed potatoes! 


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 978kcal, Carbohydrates: 61g, Protein: 69g, Fat: 36g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 238mg, Sodium: 769mg, Potassium: 2858mg, Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 25775IU, Vitamin C: 40.8mg, Calcium: 216mg, Iron: 18.7mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, French
Author: Sommer Collier

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110 comments on “Venison Bourguignon”

  1. I thought this was so complicated and hard to make given its name! Haha Glad I gave it a try! The instructions were easy to follow and it turned out full of flavors, scrumptious and my fam even thought that it was store-bought!

  2. My friend gave me venison so i tried this recipe. It was delicious! Thank you 

  3. It I used beef what cut would you recommend?

  4. I never thought I could cook something like this but you made it so easy! Thank you!

  5. I love venison, and this is the most delicous way to enjoy this style of meat! thank you so much for sharing this recipe! 

  6. Would it be a waste to use the tenderloin for this recipe? Or should I just roast the tenderloin?

  7. I made this but I did make some adjustments. I marinated the backstrap in the wine over night, I added the bacon I cooked and at the end the author  suggest a flour butter paste as a thickening I wondered how the flour would cook so I made a cornstarch slurry of 4 Tbs starch and 4 Tbs water. Worked out just fine.

  8. Could you use veal stew meat for this?

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  12. Thank you for this delicious recipe.
    I have now made it about 3 times and it has become one of my favourite dishes. 
    The flavours are amazing!
    The cooking time varies a little bit depending on the venison cut and age.
    It is the perfect meal for entertaining because it prepares well the day before.
    Cannot recommend it warmly enough!
    Best regards 

  13. Pingback: 25 Best Venison Recipes - Insanely Good

  14. This was amazing!  Thank you for the recipe!

  15. Pingback: 70+ Venison Recipes

  16. Pingback: Ninja Foodi or Air Fryer Venison Jerky Recipe - Bake Me Some Sugar

  17. My husband hunts in the fall, but deer meat is not my favorite. Since finding this recipe, I have not made venison any other way Dash and every single person who has it wants the recipe!

    • Was quite delisiousco (deliscious). I skipped va few things it still tastes marvelous, a big step up from basic venison.
      However it tastes way better hot, the leftovers cold didn’t taste right, naturally.

  18. Made this some tougher cuts and it still turned out tender and delicious! Making again this weekend

  19. When I went to print the recipe, it allowed me to adjust it depending on the number of guests and venison on hand – that was very helpful.  The stew is simmering as I write this.  I’m looking forward to tasting in a couple of hours.  Two questions: does brining make the meat salty?  And are the calories listed, 978, for the entire meal (serving 6-8) or per serving?  Thank you for the recipe.

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  24. Followed to the T; till the end 
    Guest numbers got twice , decided to cook spagatini Pasta , drain than cook on pan to dry and add butter to finish , 1 table spoon .
    Used a coffee cup to pack pasta , drop on plate and top with the stew
    OMG what a winner   

  25. Hi, can I also use ‘venison loin’ in this recipe along with the ‘roast meat’ or will it break down too quickly?

  26. Making this today! In the crock pot with the last of last season’s venison. Question, what do you do with the crispy bacon (lardon)?

    • Hi Kathey,

      For this recipe, you really only need the bacon grease. You can either save the bacon bits for another recipe, or you can keep them in and simmer them along with the venison. :)

  27. Excellent! Follow it, don’t deviate from the recipe.

  28. Every time my husband brings home a deer, we make this. It’s a lovely meal. Thank you!

  29. I’ve been making this recipe for years now. It is my go-to dinner party favorite and everyone raves over it. The only change I have made is that instead of flour/butter to thicken I use cream cheese. I start with 2 TBS but usually add in 4-6. I think it adds a level of sweetness to it. Cream cheese takes a long time to dissolve so don’t panic if you see little white lumps. Turn up the heat and give it a good half hour. Also, I always make this a day or two ahead. It just gets better when it sits. I always double the recipe as it freezes really well and I make single servings for my father in law to have.

    I have never brined my meat as this recipe doesn’t need it. If the meat is not tender just cook it longer. I love the taste of venison and this recipe only enhances it.

    • Also, if you get a roast with a silver membrane on it you need to remove as much of it as possible. It is what gives a gamey taste sometimes. I had a 6 lb roast and after removing all membranes and what not it ended up being a 4-1/2 lb roast. So you may have to take off a lot.

  30. Solid recipe but I liked the overall flavor and thought the recipe was easy, but I wasn’t blown away by the flavor of the venison. I thought it was still pretty game forward. Was hoping all the time put in to this recipe would tame the meat a little. 

    Maybe it was my brine? I didn’t have time to buy the spice brand listed in the recipe so I did a brine with spring water, salt, pepper, rosemary & bay leaves for two hours. 

  31. This is the best stew recipe that I have ever made and tasted. It has such rich flavor. I soaked the venison roast overnight in hunter’s brine spice pack that I bought at specialty store. I used fresh thyme, rosemary, and a bay leaf instead of the spice bundle called for in the recipe. It was so tender, moist, and had no gamey taste at all. I served it over biscuits. Got rave reviews from my family!

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  33. In preparation for the Venison Bourguignon, I brined 3 pounds of venison roast for 2 hours in the refrigerator. For the brine I used the recipe for Hog Brine and doubled the quantities to ensure the meat was completely submerged. I followed the Bourguignon recipe to the letter and the result was awesome! I shared some of the Bourguignon with my husband’s hunting mentor and he immediately asked for the recipe. The time soent preparing this dish was more than worth by the many accolades I received. Thanks!!

  34. Made an approximation of this while visiting relatives w/a lot of venison in the freezer. YUM YUM! Will have to look for the juniper berry herb mix before I go back again.

  35. Made the recipe with my InstantPot using elk backstrap chunked up. Meat/stew setting with 15 minutes of natural release. (Roasted potatoes separately). Took about 60 minutes for prep and cooking time. Was excellent! Will definitely make again. 

  36. Pingback: My Fall Favorite Venison Recipes - This Tiny Nest

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  38. This was delicious! Tender meat and vegetables, fabulous rich sauce. SO, so good. Thank you!

  39. This looks absolutely incredible! We would love to feature this venison recipe on our site, and link back to you. Shoot us an email if you wouldn’t mind us sharing!

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

    • Oh my Goodness! This was FAB! Julia Child would have been proud. I used crockpot on low for 6 hours and it was melt in your mouth good! Easy too. I’m not a cook, so easy is important!

  41. 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 bundle..you 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 :)

  42. 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!): http://madame.lefigaro.fr/recettes/boeuf-bourguignon-de-bernard-loiseau-070601-201797

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

  44. 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.

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  46. 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?

  47. 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.

  48. My husband just killed a nice deer, and brought home a lovely roast for me to make. This is the perfect recipe. I do have one question: will browning the deer dry it out? I’ve cooked venision a lot and know it has a tendency to become very tough, very quickly. Nevous, but eager to try this.

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  50. On the stove simmering as we speak! Gonna serve it with a cauliflower/squash flavoured with dijon mustard and parmesan. The aromas in the house are amazing – thanks for the lovely recipe :-)

  51. I’ve just followed this recipe for Mother’s Day (UK) and cooked it for my wife and mother, I we all loved it. Well done!

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  54. Sommer, could you post the recipe for the brine?

  55. thank you for this recipe. i made this recently, with slight alterations, to much success. other than the venison, i thought the mushrooms came out so great in this dish. it was the most perfect stew to tuck into with the cold weather we’re experiencing.

  56. I’ve never cooked with venison before, but this is totally making me drool right now. I love the way the fingerling potatoes look in the dish. I’m sure they add a nice crispy contrast to the tender meat n veg.

  57. Ok. My husband just put it on to simmer. fingers crossed!

  58. I’m with you…gotta have my meat. And it’s usually venison. I’ve been wanting to try Venison Bourguignon and just have never gotten around to it. This looks too good not to make though. Thanks!

  59. This is simply gorgeous. I was reading this recipe while at the lake house this weekend and immediately thought of this dish when I spotted a deer in the woods. I’m an awful person. But you started it :)

  60. The next time I find myself with a gift of venison, I will certainly make this stew! Yum. The photos are gorgeous as well.

  61. Mmmmm. This sounds amazing. I am hoping some friends of mine bless me with some more venison this year – it was awesome to have last year and this bourguignon would be delicious in my tummy. This carnivore is salivating at the idea already.

  62. I recently tried venison jerky and venison stew at a farm out in VA. It was surprisingly pretty good and I got over my fears of trying this meat. Your recipe definitely deals with this precious and delicate protein in a beautiful way.

  63. The only meat I’m sad about eating is bunny xD

  64. PS – love the green pot we both have – as always! ;)

  65. Your photos are stunning, Sommer.
    But, venison is not my kind of meat. Far, far too gamy. I have even tried a 24 hour wild meat brine herb and onion mix that is to diminish the gaminess and break down the toughness of the meat… but, still couldn’t handle it. Yours looks divine, but I will stick with my traditional recipe – have a great (also lengthy) one on my site… and I do enjoy wild meat – a lot. Just not deer.
    Bravo to you for taking this on!

  66. My sister tried Venison and said that it was delicious. I should send her this recipe. Your pics are really good.

  67. Wow I didn’t know people still did archery and hunting! I love vension meat, the flavour is amazing and what makes it better is that you can’t get it so often, so when you do have it’s extra special :)

  68. Venison can be tricky so brining it was a great idea. Putting it in a crockpot for several hours also works.

  69. Your dish looks mouthwatering!

  70. Not sure I have ever tried venison, this dish looks like a great way to start!

  71. Now that is a bourguignon that I could eat over and over again. What a stunning dish, Sommer.

  72. I love all the colorful photos you take! So beautiful!

  73. I am just like you in the fact that I need meat too! Love it! However, I have yet to try deer meat. It actually looks quite yummy!

  74. You definitely honored the meat with this recipe. I love well-cooked venison (and boar too!) and this is a must-try. I don’t know anyone who hunts, though, and I will admit that it is probably not my cup of tea as a pursuit, so I think I will get some venison online from D’Artagnan, as you have really inspired me with this dish.

  75. I’m a big fan of venison, too! I’m working my way through a pot venison chili right now. At Christmas, I always try to get a venison tenderloin (garlic and peppercorn crust—mmmmmmm!). Never thought about doing a bourguignon.

  76. Ohhh…Dear Sommer, What a beautiful recipe! That venison stew looks breath-taking–And that last pic is making me absolutely hungry :) Just lovely!

    HUGS <3

  77. There is a deer farm just across the valley from us and I picked up my winter stash of venison last week (she culls and butchers in the fall – and the meat goes fast). Great recipe!

  78. Venison stew…I don’t think I am ever able to prepare something like this…you are truly talented!

  79. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou! My husband is a hunter and I ALWAYS struggle with new recipes for all the venison we end up with! What a fantastic idea! Can’t wait to try it!

  80. I wish I had friends like this…my husband loves game meat but is not the best at actually getting it for us.

  81. not crazy about venison myself, but if I manage to talk Hubby into cooking this for me, you can bet I’ll try it. looks delish here!!

  82. What a scrumptious take on a classic! This looks so delicious. Lovely shots too!

  83. Gorgeous, and I am in love with that wine pouring shot! IN LOVE!

  84. I love venison, my brother in law is an avid hunter and always makes sure to send me the best cute (smile) we make vension tamales, yum! It’s pretty nippy here in Texas I would love a huge bowl of this, thanks sommer!

  85. I love the flavor of game!

    Your photos look like they should be in a magazine, they’re so gorgeous!

  86. My father and brother are returning from a hunting trip. I don’t yet know how it went, but I do know they enjoy being outdoors. The venison stew looks delicious.

  87. Wow.. this looks amazing! I have never had venison (I don’t think I could find it in NYC if I tried!!) but I am dying to try it. I love how you prepared it here.. mouthwatering!

  88. Amen! This looks incredible. I love venison soooo much.

  89. This looks wonderful. My husband would think he had died and gone to heaven if I made this — he loves venison.

  90. This is so beautiful (and delicious!) looking. I love venison. I grew up eating a lot of game meat so this is right up my alley…yum!

  91. I have been a huge fan of venison but I’ve also never brined it. I can honestly say I would have no problem eating this dish. You did a great job at giving it a rustic yet gourmet feel!

  92. This looks absolutely delicious. I shared with a friend who loves to cook and has access to venison as her husband is an avid bow hunter. I am hoping she makes this and invites me over to enjoy it (hint, hint…).

    I love the photos — the op of turquoise in the napkins was a nice touch. Like that it wasn’t a “fall” color!

  93. We all love to hunt so currently I have quite a bit of elk and venison in my freezer. I will have to try this I’m am sure it is as delicious as it looks.

  94. I absolutely love venison, we have it a lot back home in Germany. In fact, I can’t wait to go back in December. We had a lovely stag dish at our wedding reception, too! :)
    This looks absolutely delicious, wonderful recipe!

  95. This is a dish which I have eaten before but I particularly love the way you have cooked and presented it. I eat a lot of venison and your precise recipe is definitely one I will be trying in the near future. Thanks for the inspiration!

  96. That looks so tasty. I do love my venison! And I love it in stew also!

  97. To die for photos, by the way.

  98. I’m a card-carrying member of PETA and I didn’t take offense at this recipe. (People Eating Tasty Animals.) Cheers!