My husband is an occasional hunter… which means in 20 years of deer hunting he has only killed two deer.

One last year and one this year.
Of course, we must eat what he kills… it’s only right! For years I dreaded the day he would fill our freezer with deer meat!
I had no idea what I was missing… I stuck my culinary nose up at the thought of “gamey meat”! That is until I made…
or Gnocchi with Venison Stew. It is so delicious I served it for Christmas dinner… and then make another pot full and served it to more guest later Christmas week!
It is the best stew I have ever eaten… 
No gamey taste here! Only wonderful rich flavors with earthy undertones of mushrooms and oaky wine… accented with soft pillows of potato clouds…
If you don’t have venison, use beef cubes. I use a chuck roast and have my butcher cut if for me.  I encourage you to give the venison a try… it is FABULOUS!
I made the stew the day before and finished it the next day (see directions). It could also be made in the slow cooker.
1/2 cup porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot water
1 bay leaf
2 sprig of rosemary
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 TBS olive oil
1 onion, minced
4 TBS bacon 
salt and pepper
*1 1/2 lbs boneless venison, cut into 1 inch cubes, fat removed
1/2 lb good chuck cubes (ask your butcher to cut them for you)
8 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 TBS tomato paste
1 3/4 cups beef stock
1/2 tsp veal demiglaze, optional
2 bags frozen gnocchi
2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
*This is how the deer meat comes from our butcher… camo butcher paper… it cracks me up! My husband LOVES it!
I used a venison roast and cut it into pieces myself.
 Soak the dried mushrooms in the hot water until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain mushrooms and reserve liquid.
Rinse and chop mushrooms, discarding any tough pieces. Strain the soaking liquid through a coffee filter lined sieve and save.
Meanwhile, in a large heavy dutch oven, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and bacon and cook until the bacon is golden brown add pressed garlic and cook an additional minute.
 Take the onions, garlic and bacon out of the pan and reserve. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and reserve. Season the venison and beef with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium high, add the meat and brown on each side. Add more olive oil as needed.
Add the wine, rosemary, garlic and the bay leave. Add chopped porcini~ stirring until the wine is reduced by half. Stir in the tomato paste and reserved mushroom liquid. Stir. Add stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
  Remove bay leaf and rosemary stems. At this point the stew can be refrigerated and reheated. 
Bring a large pot of water to boil. When it boils, cook gnocchi according to directions. Drain.  If necessary, bring the stew back to a simmer. Gently stir the gnocchi into the stew and simmer to thicken the broth. Add the demiglaze and stir to dissolve.  Add parsley and Parmesan cheese. Stir and serve in bowls.


If you want to try you hand at making homemade gnocchi ( super delicious) I recommend Ann Burell’s video. So much fun to watch her at work!
Ann also has a FABULOUS new cookbook called
You can order it on Amazon… I read it cover to cover… a great new addition to my culinary library!

You might want to pin this to your RECIPE Pinterest Board. You can follow me on Pinterest HERE and see all my recipes on my FOODIE FUN board! 

Gnocchi with Venison Stew Title Page BLOG


  1. says

    You go girl!! OMG! Deer Roast is so tender and delicious Yvonne….I love Deer Roast! Also My brother-in-law makes the best Deer Jerky!! Better than anything you can buy! Love the CAMO butcher paper I will have to make sure he sees that. Too cute!

  2. says

    I love the camo butcher paper! I think the taste of the deer depends upon that deer’s diet. Around here, they’re corn fed (stealing corn from the farmers) but up north they live on next to nothing on scrub brush land. From what I hear, those deer taste gamier than the deer that are corn fed. Anyway, your recipe looks delicious!

  3. says

    Yvonne, I can tell by the ingredients that this stew must be so delicious, I can almost taste it just by looking at its photo. I can only wish I had been among the fortunate guests who got to partake of it at your lovely Christmas table.

  4. says

    Yummmmmm, that looks absolutely amazing! Your husband would love hunting around our house, we have deer that visits our yard daily, at one time we counted 16, that was when we were feeding them, however, after tallying up what we we spending in deer corn per month ($200) the hubs said “no more corn”, they will have to forage like the rest of the deer! We couldn’t kill them though, they became our “outdoor wild pets”. They still visit us everyday, waiting for food no doubt. Thanks for sharing your recipe, I’ll give that one a try with venison we receive from friends. :) Have a great day!

  5. says

    I just emailed my hubs this link in hopes that he will not only go to the store for the ingredients, but will come home and create this wonderful dish for a hot supper on a cold winter night by a crackling fire!

  6. says

    Great goodness!..can I ever relate to this post.Husband is also deer hunter,we love venison and we eat it regular,I’ve cooked it in many recipes over the years,so happy this is printable recipe! This ole country girl will be givn’ it a try.Thanks for sharing!
    ~Jo @LoblollyLane

  7. says

    This is such a wonderful post and the recipe looks amazing! Talk about comfort food! When I was growing up my extended family used to hunt annually and freeze the meat. Venison is wonderful, and I think it’s a great starter meat for someone that wants to try {something on the wild side:} I’m sure this would also taste good with regular stew meat! YUM! Have a great weekend (I’m so glad it’s hear. Even though it was a short work week, my company didn’t leave until the 2nd and I have so much to do!)


  8. says

    Oh, goodness, I can’t help but get hungry! What an awesome stew, but I want my plate of it right now! Thank you for the recipe dear Ivonne. I think I did wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013, before..if not, many blessings too, lovely lady.

  9. says

    I haven’t had deer since I moved to Arizona (16 years ago), but I can imagine how wonderful it was in this stew.

    P.S.. Thanks for stopping by my blog! And thanks for the invite to the On The Menu Monday.

  10. says

    Hi Yvonne!
    I can’t wait to share this blog post with my extremely successful at hunting brother & his wife. They always have a freezer full of venison!

    I just bought stew meat to make my usual James Beard recipe. I’ll have to go back to the grocery store for those mushrooms & the gnocchi so I can do this version instead.

    Thanks for sharing it & all the wonderfully inspiring blog postings this past year. You are amazing!

    Warm hugs,

  11. says

    The recipe sounds just so yummy. My friend’s husband is a hunter and they have a freezer full of venison. I thought I would pass this recipe along to her. Thank you.
    How many servings would this recipe have?
    Love your site.

  12. says

    This looks amazing. Rich and delicious. I love porcini mushrooms and gnocchi. I’m sure this recipe would be delicious with a good beef stew meat, too. (Venison is hard to find here.) Thanks for posting.

  13. says

    “Mr. Ed” hasn’t hunted in years since moving to this side of the Prairie! However when both boys were home(one being in College), our freezer was always filled with “deer meat”. Being a bit like you in the beginning, I called a local friend for advice on how to prepare and cook the meat. Her main suggestion, “Don’t scrimp on the black pepper!” Never ate any deer meat that I didn’t like!!! Thanks for sharing your recipe!!!

  14. says

    I will certainly share this recipe with my SIL. Joe’s brother is a big hunter and they always have venison. They will LOVE this!!! I will use a chuck roast:):) It sounds delicious! Joe and I made chili yesterday. That’s what’s “on the menu” tonight:):) I will share it on Monday. CALL ME when you get a chance, I leave Tues. AM for Fl. XOXO

  15. says

    Yvonne~ This looks delicious! My husband has a friend who is a big hunter and has shared venison with us a time or two. I was too scared to attempt anything with it other than chili, thinking I needed to mask the gamey flavor. I’m assuming you don’t soak your venison in buttermilk first? I’m definitely trying this recipe the next time he shares with us, in the meantime I’ll use beef! Thanks for sharing this recipe! Love Ann Burrell :)

  16. says

    My husband will be bringing back a deer this weekend-looking forward to trying this recipe, it sounds wonderful and I love the presentation!

  17. Mary says

    This stew is excellent! Made for Christmas Eve dinner, serving with French bread. Next time, I will double the liquid, as I didn’t have enough sauce in the final product; or perhaps, I’ll use only 1 bag of gnocchi (or pour the stew over the gnocchi as combining them with the stew caused the sauce to get absorbed into the dumplings.) For the leftovers, I was able to create additional liquid by reheating with a bit of beef broth. Absolutely terrific recipe!

  18. Mary says

    …another comment. The recipe is a bit unclear with regard to the white button mushrooms. Wasn’t sure if the reference to ‘mushrooms’ meant the porcini, the buttons, or both. I just sautéed both the white mushrooms and porcinis at the same time and added to the pot with all the other ingredients.

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