Venison Bourguignon

Venison Bourguignon

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ~Julia Child

Today Deer Recipes has a special guest from A 12 Gauge Girl, Lindsey Bartosh. She’s going to share her delicious Venison Bourguignon recipe with us. Lindsey has many recipes on her website including elk, deer, fish, turkey and much more, so y’all be sure to click here and check her site out and give her a follow on Twitter as well. 

Venison Bourguignon from A 12 Gauge Girl –

You know what Meryl Streep movie I love? Julie & Julia! You know the movie, right? Meryl Streep plates up an amazing performance as the queen of cooking, Julia Child. And Amy Adams is Julie Powell, a struggling New York writer who challenges herself to complete a 365-day cook-off covering every recipe in Julia Child’s famous cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking? If you are a blogger, I am sure you know the movie because it centers around the idea of using blogging to create self-growth and potentially a little income. Right?

Anyway, who can forget the scene where Julie Powell cooks boeuf bourguignon. Editor Judith Jones, credited for greatly assisting in the publication of Julia Child’s cookbook, is scheduled to be Julie Powell’s guest for the evening. Powell decides she will cook the exact same dish Jones’ first cooked when she was testing out the cookbook, boeuf bourguignon. As Powell narrates the story of Jones and Child meeting, we watch her order beautiful beef cuts from her local butcher and lightly brown them in a silver pan.

Powell fills a heavy ceramic dutch oven with brightly colored vegetables and pours a bottle of red wine over the meat and vegetables. The dutch oven sizzles and steams. Every time I watch that scene, I immediately want to make boeuf bourguignon. The colors and the sounds and textures just make me so hungry! I can’t be the first person who watched that movie and then tried making boeuf bourguignon. I know for a fact I am not, because my brother-in-law did just that.

Powell’s bourguignon actually ends in disaster. She falls asleep on the couch and misses her alarm. The dish is charred black and completely inedible. And to top everything off, Judith Jones cancels her meeting with Powell. It is a tragic end for Powell’s bourguignon. However, when I decided to make bourguignon I used venison, and the result was anything but tragic!

If you want the most flavor possible from this dish, and trust me you do, the meat needs to marinade overnight in a bath of vegetables and red wine.

Venison Bourguignon – A Guest Post by A 12 Gauge Girl

Prep Time: 12 hours

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 14 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 4 Quarts

Serving Size: 2 cups

Calories per serving: 588

Fat per serving: 18.2 g

Venison Bourguignon – A Guest Post by A 12 Gauge Girl


    For Marinade
  • 4 pounds venison, stew meat
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2-3 stalks celery, large chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, large chopped
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bottle red wine, I used pinot noir
  • For Bourguignon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 8 slices bacon, diced
  • 3-4 stalks celery, diced
  • 3-4 carrots, diced
  • 2 cups pearl onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, minced
  • 1 pound fingerling or red potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups cremini or shitake mushrooms
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. The night before, in a large bowl add venison, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and bay leaves. Pour in the entire bottle of wine. Cover and refrigerate over night.
  2. When ready to start cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Remove the venison from the marinade. Pat dry and dust with flour. With remaining marinade, pour through a fine mesh sieve. Reserve the wine liquid and discard the vegetables. You will need the wine to add back into the pot.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large ceramic dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the venison in small batches, being sure to not overcrowd the pan. Brown the meat on each side for 2-3 minutes. This could require four or five batches. Set the meat aside.
  5. Add the diced bacon to the pot and crisp. Once bacon is ready, drop in the carrots, celery, pearl onions. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the vegetables to soften for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and tomato paste, stir, and cook additional three minutes.
  7. Return the venison to the pot and pour in 2 cups of the reserved wine marinade. Bring to a light boil and reduce the liquid by half.
  8. Once reduced, add the beef stock, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring the pot to a boil and place the lid.
  9. Put the entire pot in the preheated oven for two hours. Check occasionally to ensure there is enough liquid in the pot.
  10. After two hours, add the potatoes and mushrooms. Allow to cook an additional 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and enjoy!

Set your timer for two hours, and try not to fall asleep like Julie Powell did. At the two hour mark, add in your diced potatoes and mushrooms. Cook for an additional thirty minutes.

The process is definitely a long one, but this meal is worth the wait and the effort. The flavors are very deep and rich, and even with all that depth of flavor, the venison is still able to shine as the star of the show. 

The good, the bad and the delicious…

  • Venison Bourguignon is low in cholesterol and high in vitamin A.
  • It contains alcohol, which some find as a bad point, and it also might be too high in sodium for some.

Venison Bourguignon Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Grade: C+

Serving Size 599 g
 Yields: 4 quarts  Serving: 2 cups
 Calories 588  Calories from fat 164
   % Daily Value*
 Total Fat 18.2g  28%
 Saturated Fat 4.6g  23%
 Trans Fat 0.0g  
 Cholesterol 31mg  10%
 Sodium 1166mg  49%
 Potassium 771mg  22%
 Total Carbohydrates 25.8g  9%
 Dietary Fiber 3.5g  14%
 Sugars 5.3g  
 Protein 64.7g  
   Vitamin A 79%
   Vitamin C 17%
   Calcium 6%
   Iron 15%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

To make this recipe more diet-friendly…

  • This is a recipe that’s a little difficult to alter to make more healthy and get the same taste. The bacon gets a nutrition grade of D and the wine gets a grade C–all other ingredients grade as A and B, so the alterations would need to be with the bacon and/or the wine.  
    • The easiest way to make it more diet-friendly is to eat less than two cups–try one cup.
    • Try using less bacon or omit it.
    • You could also use the wine as a marinade, but leave out the two cups that you put back in the dish and substitute it with beef broth. These are just ideas, which I have never tried and cannot guarantee the taste. If anyone would like to comment a better way to make this a more diet-friendly dish I would greatly appreciate it.

Whatever alterations you make, if you’re on a diet don’t forget to recalculate the nutrition information. I use Calorie Count, but there are many options online. 

In the words of Julia Child, Bon Appétit 🍴

Please visit a 12 Gauge Girl and show her some love for sharing this awesome recipe.

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