The Best Venison Stew You’ll Ever Eat

The Best Venison Stew You’ll Ever Eat

This scratch-made venison stew recipe is easy to make and the deer meat is fall-apart tender. It’s packed with veggies and simple ingredients.

If you missed it, my husband and I welcomed our baby girl, Madi Jo, in July 2020. While my pregnancy was full of many blessings, I also experienced some pretty serious food aversions in my first trimester. The biggest one really being meat, which was weird for me! Once my aversions calmed down, I finally made this venison stew. I tried it, and it is still my favorite meal I ate while pregnant. That and this venison chili. Go figure!

It was really odd in the beginning to be totally turned off by the sight or smell of venison since we eat some much of it in our home.

(PSA: My cookbook Venison Every Day is now available for purchase!) When I was finally ready to try my hand at eating red meat again, I knew this would be the perfect dish.

carrots, onion and celery in a dutch oven

The meat gets fall-apart tender and the stew is PACKED with nourishing veggies and a rich and flavorful broth. The recipe is identical to the insanely popular recipe I wrote a few years ago for Instant Pot Venison Stew. It’s just adapted for making on the stovetop, which sometimes I prefer. There’s something about stew simmering on the stove, you know? But, if you’re an Instant Pot lover and you’re short on time, make sure you check out that method, too.

potatoes, carrots, onion and celery in a dutch oven
How do you get venison to be tender in stew?

This is one of my most frequently asked questions. And for you, I have two tips.

  1. Remove all sinew.
  2. Sear and braise.
venison on top of a pot of vegetables

What is sinew, you ask?

Sinew is the silvery connective tissue that you see running through your venison. When it isn’t removed, it causes venison to curl up like a rubber band and get really tough.

I love stew because you can cut venison into small, bite-sized pieces and remove the sinew as you go. This helps each bite of venison to be ultra-tender.

venison stew in a dutch oven, steaming

Searing and braising are great for venison.

After you cut the venison into bite-sized pieces and remove the sinew, you’re going to want to sear it in a pan to add flavor. I also happen to think that searing the meat first and then cooking it low and slow helps to tenderize things.

Once you sear the venison, it gets removed from the pot until all of the veggies have been sauteed and the liquid has been added. When that happens, you add the seared venison back to the pan and it braises (cooks low and slow in liquid) in the broth with the veggies.

I promise you this results in the most tender stew you’ve ever had in your life. Now, the longer you can let this simmer the better. I like at least an hour, but two hours is better.

venison stew in a terra-cotta bowl with a thyme leaf

Seriously, if you love this recipe, go order my book for over 50 more like it. Or grab my FREE cooking tips & tricks.

Venison Stew

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