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bowl of venison bourguignon over egg noodles with a second bowl, a Dutch oven, carrots, a cutting board and red wine in the background
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5 from 6 votes

Venison Bourguignon [Venison Stew]

Venison Bourguignon is a Southern remake of Julia Child’s most famous dish. It’s a rich and hearty venison stew that's perfect for a chilly winter night.
Course Entree, Soups
Cuisine American, Southern
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 6 people
Calories 271kcal
Author Lisa B.


  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 3 pounds venison or lean stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 large carrot peeled and sliced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups full-bodied red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (12 ounce) package frozen pearl onions or 18-24 fresh pearl onions, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound sliced button mushrooms


Stovetop and Oven Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a large covered ovenproof casserole dish or sauté pan, sauté the bacon over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes until lightly browned. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, reserving the grease, and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
  • Add the oil to the bacon grease. Reheat it until it's shimmering and almost smoking.
  • Dry the venison meat with paper towels to ensure that it will brown properly. Season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat in the oil in batches. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon, reserving the oil, and set aside with the bacon.
  • Sauté the carrots and sliced onion for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add the black pepper and flour and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, to remove the raw flour flavor, about 2-3 minutes more.
  • Add the wine and the broth, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, thyme, bay leaves and pearl onions.
  • Return the venison and bacon to pan and toss with the vegetables.
  • Cover the pot and place it in the bottom third of the oven. Braise for 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat pierces easily with a fork.
  • Forty-five minutes before serving, sauté the mushrooms in butter for 3-5 minutes until tender. Add the mushrooms to the pot and continue cooking.
  • Serve stew over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

Slow Cooker Method

  • Brown the bacon and the venison as instructed above, then add it to the crock of a slow cooker.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients except the mushrooms.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours or high for six hours.
  • About 45 minutes before serving, sauté the mushrooms in butter. Transfer the mushrooms to the slow cooker, stir them into the stew, return the lid to the slow cooker and allow them to cook for the duration.

Instant Pot Method

  • Press the SAUTE function. Once the Instant Pot is hot, add the bacon and brown. Remove the bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon. Brown the venison, working in batches. Remove the browned venison from the pot and set it aside.
  • Add the carrot and onion. Sauté the vegetables over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until they are browned and slightly softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Sprinkle in the salt, ground black pepper and flour. Stir the mixture around until the vegetables are coated, then cook, stirring constantly, for two minutes.
  • Add the red wine and beef broth, scraping up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomato paste, dried thyme, bay leaves and pearl onions. Return the venison and bacon to the pot and toss with the vegetables.
  • Turn off the SAUTE function. Seal the Instant Pot. Select the MANUAL function and set the time for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes are up, sauté the mushrooms in the butter while the pressure in the Instant Pot releases naturally. Add the mushrooms, the seal the Instant Pot again and reset the time for five minutes. Allow the pressure in the Instant Pot to release naturally.


How to Store Leftovers:
Allow the venison stew to cool before transferring it to a container with a lid. Consume leftover stew within four days.
To freeze, transfer the cooled venison bourguignon to a freezer safe container or freezer bags. Remember to leave enough space at the top to allow the food to expand as it freezes. If using freezer bags, carefully fold down the top of the bag to remove any trapped air, then seal. Consume within three months. Allow the stew to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 791mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g