Ragout de Chevreuil: Venison stew

After giving us a taste of spring, Montreal weather decided it was too early for that and cooled down…. so what better way to get warmed up than a meaty, comforting stew on a chilly night!
I love making stews because they are so soulful and satisfying. Since I tend to make a lot of beef and lamb stews, I wanted to try something different and a bit leaner, so headed over to market and bought venison.

Venison has a rich red, gamey taste that paired wonderfully with anise notes, from the fennel and dill seed, and root vegetables.

To see how I made this…

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Ragoût de Chevreuil
These days I am trying to eat a bit healthier, thus this stew is on the leaner side. You can [and by can I mean should!] use some butter if you’re not concerned about this :) Especially since this meat is much leaner than its beef and lamb counterparts!


1.1 kg venison cubes
3-4 tblsp oil
1 onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stocks, minced
1 celery root, 1/4 minced and 3/4  cut into wedges
1 turnip, cut into chunks or wedges
1/2 c red wine
3/4 c stock (or water)
4 tblsp demi-glace, or very dark stock
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp honey
dill seeds
fennel seeds
star anise
2 rosemary sprigs
bay leaves
parsley, chopped for garnish

Make sure your meat is dry by patting it down with a paper towel. Season it with salt and pepper [if you are not trying to cut down on calories, toss the meat in flour, to coat all sides].  Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add venison, and brown all sides, in small batches [this is the KEY to get beautifully browned meat: DO NOT OVERCROWD! Otherwise you will end up lowering the heat of the pot and won’t achieve that gorgeous brown color you are looking for].

Transfer meat into a dish, sprinkle some dill and fennel seeds, and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add one more tblsp of oil [or butter]. Add onion and saute for about 1 minute. Then add the rest of your mirepoix* [Instead of doing a traditional mirepoix I used onion, celery, and celeriac] and cook for about 4 min.

Add the garlic and cook until vegetables are soft. Stir in 1 tsp of tomato paste. Deglaze with wine. Once the wine has reduced to almost half its volume, add the demi-glace, stock, honey, rosemary, bay leaves, dill seeds, fennel seeds, allspice, and star anise. Season lightly. Once the mixture starts to simmer, reduce heat to medium low and let cook for 5-10 minutes.
Add venison to the pot, cover and cook for about 1 hr [do not let the mixture boil, have it partially uncovered if necessary]. After this time has elapsed, add the turnips. After about 5-8 minutes add the celery root [normally turnips take longer to cook than celeriac]. Cook until vegetables are cooked to through, about 20 min. Taste and rectify the seasoning. Serve and garnish with parsley.

Enjoy & thanks for reading!

*Mirepoix is a combination of finely chopped celery, onions, and carrots commonly used as a flavor base for stews, soups, and sauces.
~Celebrating one more year of happiness~

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