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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Venison Bourguignon


confessions ~
  • dw & i did not celebrate xmas. he's not big on the holiday and since i don't have a strong attachment to it myself, we ix-nayed it. instead, we slept in, took goofy visa pictures of each other in preparation for our Vietnam trip next month, and went to see a movie. (Sherlock Holmes. he rules.)
  • my affection for young adult fiction has merged over to young adult tv shows. i finished Life Unexpected and now i'm deeply involved with Roswell.
  • i don't mind mind winter running when my ears are warm. who knew a headband + running skull cap would be the answer to getting me to run in this cold?
  • i like deer meat. i, who wept when bambi's mom was shot & he was orphaned, adore this gamey protein.
  • i don't particularly care for red wine. so when i did a search for this recipe & it called for the use of red wine, i inwardly sighed. i also wasn't all that surprised when i looked at our stash of wine & all the bottles were white. and so i made this with white wine.
  • and. um. damnit. i used a packet of onion soup mix to season the meat before searing it. there. that's it.


Venison Bourguignon
adapted from a spicy perspective

packet of onion soup mix
4 strips of bacon
2 lbs. deer roast meat, chopped into large 2 inch chunks
3 big carrots, chopped into large chunks
2 onions, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 container baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
½ cup bourbon
3/4 bottle white wine, i used chardonnay
2 cups water (or stock)
2 TBL tomato paste
thyme, rosemary and a bay leaf, you could get fancy & make a Bouquet Garni
4 TBL butter, i used soy margarine
¼ cup flour

cook up bacon in pan until done & crispy. remove from pan, set aside.

meanwhile, season deer chunks with onion packet, or salt & pepper. Brown the meat on all sides. do in batches, add too much meat in the pan and the mean just steams.

transfer some of the fat or oil into a pot. add in the onions, garlic & carrots. cook for a few minutes until onions are soft & translucent. add the meat to the pot. pour in bourbon, wine, and water. throw in the tomato paste & herbs. cover.

bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for a few hours. i let it go for 3 hours. in the last hour, added the mushrooms.

in a bowl, mush the butter + flour into a paste. stir into the stew until thick.

i served this with roasted cubed potatoes.


wishing you and yours a delightful 2012.


  1. Ok, you've got me wondering where you got venison for this beauteous dish.

    Make the holiday your own. Even if that means not celebrating.

  2. Hah, my first thought was where you got deer meat from as well! :) I read another friend's venison recipe where the meat came from a hunting trip so, I have no idea where to get this meat from without hunting it myself.

    I love white wines over reds too, which is why we gift mostly reds from our collection HA!

  3. Nice :) Very unique recipe to me hehe ~

  4. I haven't had venison in ages, and certainly have never prepared it... maybe the first order of business in 2012 should be cookin' up a little Bambi.

    (...actually... that's kind of sad.)

  5. wendi, i emailed you, let me know if you have any more questions.

    beetlebuggy, it's all about the hunting season and who you know, and what they're willing to give away! :) then you stock up in the freezer. it is nice to have a bottle of red handy, to gift or cook with.

    Daisy, it's a lovely recipe, great for the cold weather.

    Meister, only if you think of it that way is it sad. it is delicious meat.

  6. The girl from Life Unexpected is in the Secret Circle now, which is pretty much a lot of fun!
    This recipe just screams home to me, I grew up eating lots and lots of venison.

  7. Is this fresh deer meat from a hunter or did you buy this meat? Venison is such a delicious and healthy red meat, so I will definitely entertain trying this!

  8. yo. - thanks!

    margy&lee - i saw! unless it comes on netflix, i probably won't watch it. i don't like having to wait for episodes every week. (tho i do wait for Parenthood & Grey's Anatomy!) the mom in Life Unexpected is actually the teen girl in Roswell, and i am so addicted to this show right now!!! Venison is actually a new-to me protein. i'd had bites before this year has been a revelation, i'm really enjoying preparing it.

    venison - from a hunter. i'm lucky to know some people who have brothers & friends who hunt & are willing to share in their bounty. :)

  9. Can you use more wine if you don't have any bourbon? Not sure I want to wind up with a mostly full bottle of bourbon on my hands since I don't drink it all that much..but this recipe looks delicious!

    1. hi sarah,
      that's a really good question and i'm sitting here trying to come up with a smart answer.
      i want to say that if you omit the bourbon & add more wine instead, the dish will still taste great. however, i think the bourbon really gives it a rice depth of flavor. we are also a pretty non-hard liquor household and the original recipe called for brandy, we happened to have an almost full bottle of bourbon somehow & that's what i used. i think if you can swing a small bottle of brown liquor (brandy, bourbon, whiskey, maybe even captain morgan...) do it & use it... if not, the stew will still taste great.

  10. Is there a substitute for the bourbon such as adding more wine? I'm not sure I want to buy a bottle of bourbon since I don't drink it that often but the recipe sounds delicious!

  11. I'm making this tonight for dinner. At any point do you add the bacon back in, or was it just for the bacon grease?

  12. I'm making this tonight for dinner with the deer my hubby shot this fall. I'm curious about the I add it back to the pot at any time or did I cook it up just for the grease?

    1. Erin, you can add it in when you add the venison meat back into the pot & let it stew for a few hours. i also saved some to garnish @ the end. it added a bit of texture & saltiness. Enjoy! Pls let me know how it turns out.

    2. Wow. What a perfect stew for a cold winters night. It was soooo good, such depth in the flavor. I wanted to lick the bowl. I did a few things slightly different. I halved the recipe and added less mushrooms because I don't really like mushrooms. I seasoned potatoes with onion soup mix and olive oil and roasted them in the oven then put a scoop of them on top of the stew with the bacon just before serving. That made this wonderful stew even better. My husband said all his favorite things were in this meal.....potatoes, bacon, wild game, and bourbon. I also made garlic rolls to go along side. I will definitely make this again. A great recipe to help use up our freezer full of venison.

    3. Erin, i am so glad this turned out well for you!! i was fretting over it last nite. i haven't made this dish since last winter (we are low on venison this season, unfortch). i do have a number of other venison recipes on the blog if you're looking for inspiration, or if you have great tips, i'd love to hear them. i do have a bone in rump in my freezer right now that i don't know what to do with....