Venison Stew, Basic Brown Sauce

Usually when I make slow cooked meats or stews it all goes in the pot and is simmered together.

I made this one differently.

I wanted to make a Basic Brown Sauce to have on hand so decided to use a bit of that to finish the venison.

Extra Brown Sauce can be frozen in small amounts and thawed as needed. Use it to supplement the sauce or gravy for beef, game and pork dishes or add it to stir-fries, casseroles and pasta dishes.

Venison Stew

Total time: 100 minutes


  • 16oz (480gr) venison, cut into 1 1/2″ (4cm) pieces  
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 carrot, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
  • 1 rib celery, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
  • 2 bay (laurel) leaves
  • 1 tbs juniper berries
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) red wine
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) beef broth
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Basic Brown Sauce
  • Basic Brown Sauce:
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 6 tbs butter
  • 6 tbs flour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups (48oz, 1440ml) beef broth
  • 3 tbs tomato paste

Venison Stew


  • Heat oil in a braising pot.  Add venison and brown.
  • Add the shallots, carrot, celery, bay leaf, juniper berries, pepper, broth and red wine.,
  • Cover, and braise in a 350F (175C) oven for 90 minutes. Check from time to time to make sure it doesn’t dry out – adding wine or water if needed..
  • Basic Brown Sauce:
  • Melt butter in a large saucepan.
  • Add vegetables and sauté until tender.
  • Add flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  • Add broth, very slowly at first, stirring constantly so that it stays smooth.
  • When all broth is in, stir in tomato paste, add bay leaf, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, until reduced and thickened.
  • Strain sauce, discarding solids.
  • To finish Venison:
  • Remove venison from wine and keep warm.
  • Strain wine, put in a large saucepan on high heat and reduce by half
  • Add 1 1/2 cups brown sauce, venison to reduced wine and heat through
  • Serve – Garlic Mashed Potatoes are a good choice…..

Print Recipe

Last week I re-posted a primer on herbs….

This week it’s the spices.

Herbs are leaves, either fresh or dried.

Spices are the rest of the plant: seeds, stems, roots, bark, buds, berries; and are most often dried.

Spices are very often used in cuisine-specific blends such as curry powder (Indian), harissa (North African) or chili powder (Mexican).

You can buy blends or make your own.

Here is some starting information on what spices work together:

Allspice: Complements root vegetables, tomato-based sauces, roast meats, shellfish, pickles, cakes, pies.  Used in sweet spice blends, curry powders, meat seasonings, tagine blends, jerk seasoning.

Caraway: Complements cheeses, pork, vegetables (cabbage, potatoes).  Used in garam masala, sausage seasoning, tandoori spice blends.

Cardamom, green: Complements pastries, sweet dishes, cakes, breads, rices, curries.  Used in curry powder, garam masala, tagine spice blends, ras el hanout.

Celery Seed: Complements vegetable juices, seafood, eggs, salad dressings, cheeses, poultry.  Used in seasoning blends for roast meats.

Chili: Complements Mexican sauces, Asian stir-fries, curries, almost everything else.  Used in curry powder, taco seasonings, pickling spices, chili powder, all-purpose seasoning blends.

Cinnamon and Cassia: Complements cakes, sweet baked goods, stewed fruits and puddings, curries, Moroccan tagines.  Used in curry powder, sweet spice blends, ras el hanout, garam masala, Cajun spice blends, barbecue spices.

Cloves: Complements cakes, sweet baked goods, stewed fruits and puddings, curries, Moroccan tagines.  Used in curry powder, sweet spice blends, ras el hanout, garam masala, tagine spice blends, Chinese five-spice.

Coriander (seeds): Complements curries, cakes and breads, fruit pies, chicken, seafood.  Used in curry powder, sweet spice blends, ras el hanout, tagine spice blends, harissa paste.

Cumin: Complements Indian curries, Asian red curries, chicken, seafood, rice, vegetable dishes, bread, Mexican sauces.  Used in barbecue spices, curry powders, harissa paste, chili powder, ras el hanout, berbere.

Fennel (seeds): Complements breads, sausages, Malay curries, pasta, tomato sauces, satay dishes.  Used in curry powder, Chinese five-spice, Cajun spice blends, ras le hanout.

Galangal: Complements Thai soups, Asian curries and stir-fries, seafood dishes, sambal paste.  Used in red and green curry blends, redang curry powder, ras le hanout.

Ginger: Complements cakes, sweet baked goods, all curries, Asian stir-fries, red meats, seafood.  Used in barbecue seasoning blends, red and green curry blends, jerk seasoning, curry powders, tandoori seasoning, ras el hanout, sweet spice blends.

Mustard (seeds, powder): Complements pickles, Indian curries, salad dressings, curry powders, meat seasonings, pickling spices.

Nutmeg and Mace: Complements winter squashes, potatoes, meat terrines, cheese sauces, milk and rice puddings, sweet baked goods.  Used in sweet spice blends, some curry powders.

Paprika: Complements roast meats and poultry, stews, hearty soups, legumes, egg dishes, sauces, tomato sauces.  Used in tandoori spice blends, barbecue seasonings, Cajun spices, curry powders, chili powder, ras el hanout, tagine spice blends.

Pepper, black, white, red, green.  Needs it’s own chapter – one of them will complement just about everything and one of them is used in almost any savory or hot spice blend.

Salt: see pepper.

Turmeric: Complements curries, Moroccan tagines, stir-fried chicken, seafood, pickles, rice dishes.  Used in curry powders, ras el hanout, tandoori spice blends.

If you want nutrition information for the recipe, try this site: Calorie Count

2 thoughts on “Venison Stew, Basic Brown Sauce”

    • Lynne, it can, in one of 2 ways. You could do the venison part of the recipe in a slow cooker, on low heat for 7 – 8 hours, then finish with the brown sauce made separately, as in this recipe. Or you could add the vegetables for the brown sauce to the venison and cook it all together. Then, to finish, strain the sauce, reduce it, add 1/2 cup beef stock, 2 tbs tomato paste and thicken it. This is untested but I think both would work fine. Hope that helps.

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