How many times in a row can you say “bourguignon” as fast as possible?

Words, words. I just want the recipe already.

Sooo… it’s February, and I think I can speak for a majority of the country when I say I am ready for warm weather and warm weather food. We are a little bit stewed-out over here (not to mention irritated that this has been the 10th coldest winter in Dallas history). However, for one last winter hurrah in the cold-weather-comfort-food category (because in Texas, spring is but a day away), here is the one stew that all other stews aspire to be. I don’t know what it is about French cooking that, aside from using seemingly simple and nearly the same ingredients as other simple food, it’s sooooo much better. I think it’s because they douse everything in wine and butter.

The recipe says you should use a quality wine. To cook with? Duly noted. And ignored.

The recipe says you should use a quality wine. To cook with? Duly noted. And ignored. I will drink the fine wine, thankyouverymuch.

I am generally not one of those people that reads through an entire recipe before I decide to, or even start, cooking it. This means it can come to kind of a surprise when your sleeves are rolled up and you’re in the thick of it, the recipe instructs you to light the dish on fire. Ummm…. okay. So we decided that we needed to pour the brandy in and immediately light it so we could get pictures before the alcohol burned off. Doing this in a big rush, we found, was incredibly unnecessary. Grab the extinguisher folks, because I nearly melted the bottom of my microwave as the brandy burned for an entire 2 minutes. And did it even really help the dish? Sure?

Please do not hold your face directly over the pot when lighting it. At best, you will singe the eyebrows.

Please do not hold your face directly over the pot when lighting it. At best, you will singe the eyebrows.

In the final photos, I have the bread strategically placed to look really pretty for the picture, but really the bread should probably be on the bottom with the stew spooned right over top, because it soaks up all the buttery, silky, brothy goodness. This is also why a good crusty bread is the way to go.


See how lovely it is to sop up the last morsels of broth with a good, sturdy, toasted hunk of bread?


Venison bourguignon

Serves 8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 2 hours
Total time 2 hours, 10 minutes
Website Food Network's Ina Garten


  • 2.5lb venison stew meat, or round steak cut into chunks (patted dry)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1lb carrots (sliced into about 1-inch diagonals)
  • 2 onions (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon garlice (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped sundried tomatoes (you can use tomato paste if you must)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour (gluten free flour is A-OK here)
  • 1lb frozen onions
  • 1lb fresh mushrooms (sliced)
  • fresh parsley (for garnish)
  • sliced crusty bread (for serving)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


Step 1
Preheat the oven to 250. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot. Season the meat with salt and pepper, then sear it in single layers to brown on all (or most) sides, working in batches if needed. Set aside.
Step 2
Sauté the carrots and onions in the same pot with a heavy hand of salt and pepper for about 10-15 minutes, until they start to soften and the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and sauté another minute or two. Add the brandy, ignite with a match and stand back as the alcohol burns off (this took nearly a full 2 minutes). Add the meat back into the pot with any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Add the bottle of wine plus enough broth to almost cover the meat. Add the sundried tomatoes and thyme. Bring the pot to a simmer, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1.5-2 hours, until the meat is very tender.
Step 3
Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms and onions in 3 tablespoons of the butter until the onions just start to caramelize. Once the stew is finished, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter with the flour with a fork and stir it into the stew. Then add the mushrooms and onions, bring back to a boil on the stove and simmer for about another 15 minutes. Season to taste.
Step 4
To serve, brush the bread slices with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and toast. Serve the stew with, or spooned over, the toast and garnish with parsley or more thyme if desired.
Non-game substitution: The dish is called “beef bourguignon” so you know, you can use beef. Let me introduce myself: I’m Captain Obvious.
Vegetarian substitution: There’s not much in the way of a veggie substitution here, without kind of turning it into a completely different dish. If you’re a vegetarian, make some ratatouille instead.

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5 Comments on "Venison recipes: Venison bourguignon"

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Mama Lou

Love your narrative. What a delicious stew!


Wow! A far cry from my other bourguignon recipes, which call for adding one cup of burgundy after the meat is tender. Hmm. ;-) !!!

Mark Marriner

So what do I cook the frozen onions step one or step three ?