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Braised Venison Stew in a Red Wine & Bitter Chocolate Sauce

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Finally the post you've been waiting for! Braised Venison Stew in a Red Wine & Bitter Chocolate Sauce. SO deliciously rich and hearty.
Course Soups, Stews & Chilis
Cuisine American
Keyword hunters stew, red wine, stew, venison, winter
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Additional Time 20 mins
Total Time 3 hrs
Servings 8 servings
Calories 583
Author Laurie McNamara


  • olive oil for cooking
  • 1/2 pound bacon chopped
  • 3 pounds venison shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 3-4 tablespoons flour seasoned
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 3 shallots peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 2-3 large carrots peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 short stalks celery roughly chopped
  • 4 small turnips peeled and cut into chunks
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms cleaned and halved
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon mixed peppercorns crushed
  • 500 ml red wine or 3/4 a bottle
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate 70% cocoa solids, grated


  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Drizzle a little oil into a large ovenproof dutch oven and sauté the bacon for 4-5 minutes over a moderate heat until lightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Put the chunks of venison in a large bowl or plastic bag with the seasoned flour and toss well to coat. Shake off the excess flour. Add a little more oil {if needed} to the dutch oven and fry the venison in batches over a moderate to high heat, until browned on all sides. Remove from the pot and set aside with the bacon.
  • Add a final drizzle of oil to the casserole dish and add in the shallots, garlic, and mushrooms. When golden in color add the carrots, celery and turnips. Sauté the vegetables with the herbs and crushed peppercorns for about 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Return the bacon and venison to the dutch oven and pour in the red wine. Give everything a good stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the dish to loosen any sediment. Bring the wine to the boil, then pour in the stock and add some salt and pepper. Return to a boil again and then cover with a lid. Transfer to the oven and cook for 1½ to 2 hours, or until tender.
  • Remove the casserole from the oven and strain the meat and vegetables through a large sieve or colander, set over a saucepan to catch the sauce. Discard the bay leaves and thyme. Place the meat and vegetables back into the dish and cover to keep warm.
  • Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the chocolate until it melts and the sauce is smooth. (If it turns grainy, pass it through a fine sieve.) Taste and adjust the seasoning, then pour the sauce over the venison and vegetables and stir well.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 583kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 172mg | Sodium: 578mg | Potassium: 1014mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3041IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 7mg