Hearty Venison Stew

crock pot venison stew

Deer, oh deer…

Do you like venison?  Have you ever tried it?  If not, I urge you to give it a shot (tee hee).  A little back story on how this delicious, filling venison stew made it’s way into my crock pot and later into my stomach 🙂

Growing up in Minnesota everyone knows at least a few hunters if they aren’t one themselves.  You end up being offered some venison at a picnic, or a family member’s house and you give it a try.  I remember the first time I had venison was in 6th grade up at my best friends’ cabin and her dad grilled some venison burgers.  I was a LOT pickier back then and didn’t appreciate the gamey flavor.

Fast forward more than a decade and I have changed my tune.  My parents live on 5 acres about 25 minutes outside of Minneapolis and have a lot of wildlife in their backyard.  Every year for the past 5 or so years a man comes by to hunt in their backyard with his bow and arrow.  He usually succeeds and gives a good portion to my family in exchange for allowing him to hunt.  Prior to this year I never wanted any because I wasn’t sure I liked it.  Now that I am a paleo eater, there is no way I could say no!

I mean a wild deer, shot in my own backyard, with a bow and arrow?  Yeah… doesn’t get much more primal than that.  The only thing that would take it another step further into paleo territory would be if I had shot it… No chance of that ever happening.  You know you have to GUT it if you shoot it? Nope, not for me.

Seeing that it has been bitterly cold, with a capital B for the past few weeks I knew that I wanted to make some stew.  Plus I had some AMAZING homemade stock in my fridge from some pulled pork that I made a week or so ago.  I started throwing some things together in the crock pot and about 5 hours later I couldn’t stand waiting any longer (it smelled incredible) and dove in.

venison stew

The flavor was just perfect with the venison and was EVEN BETTER this morning for breakfast!  I woke up and my first thought was “yes! I get more stew for breakfast!!!” Go ahead, make fun.  I am just so glad I am past my need for sweets in the morning 🙂

If you don’t have any way to get a hold of some venison, this stew would be just as good with beef, shredded pork, chicken, or really any other protein you can think of!  Click here for the recipe and enjoy a hearty, delicious stew to get you through the next few (or more like 12 if you live in Minnesota) weeks of winter!


Sweet Potatoes and Smiles,

– The Freckled Foodie

Hearty Venison Stew

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 4-8 (we eat a lot, thus the 4)
  • Difficulty: easy


  • 1-2 lbs cubed venison stew meat (could sub beef, pulled pork, chicken, etc)
  • 1 10 oz pkg baby bella mushrooms, diced
  • 1 lb pkg organic carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 28 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 c broth or stock *mine was homemade, check your labels for sugar to stay Whole30 compliant!
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1-2 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Savory Spice Blend from Practical Paleo (see below for link to ingredients)
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp french thyme (from TJ’s)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper


  1. Let’s Begin!

  2. Place all the vegetables in the crock pot (I used a 6 quart which was perfect)

  3. Put your protein over the vegetables and pour the tomatoes, broth, EVOO, and balsamic over the top

  4. Next put in the garlic and other spices, including the Savory Spice Blend, found here


  6. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly

  7. Turn the crock pot on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8, stirring every hour or so if possible

  8. You will know it is done with the carrots and onions are cooked through and no longer crunchy

  9. Remove the bay leaves before serving! Nobody wants to eat a leaf…

  10. Serve alone or with cubed avocado on top and try to forget it’s ten below outside.

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Comments: 19

  1. Rachel April 24, 2013 at 10:22 am Reply

    I love your blog, and this looks so good! My husband hunts, and so we always have venison in the freezer. I’m so glad to have found another recipe to try. If you have more game meat recipes please share!

    • thefreckledfoodie April 24, 2013 at 12:38 pm Reply

      I’m so glad you like it! I will definitely try to get some more up for all the hunters and hunters wives 🙂

  2. Elaine November 17, 2013 at 6:15 pm Reply

    I tired your recipes today and it came out great. I had to make some adjustments to use what I already had on hand. Instead of the canned fired tomatoes I used fresh tomatoes, a sauteed onion, and a jalapeno. Yum!

  3. bob mcdonough January 10, 2014 at 9:12 pm Reply

    Hey Freckle! A friend just dropped off a hind leg of venison and we couldn’t figure out what to do. After going through your blog….NICE!….we have decided not to slow smoke it outside. We trimmed and trimmed and cut into small cubes, followed your recipe and is now in the oven slow cooking for a few hours. Onions, garlic, olive oil, celery, carrots, fresh cracked pepper, sea salt, mint leaves, port wine, tomato sauce, half bottle winter ale. got the oven at 300 for two hours, then 200 for hour more. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. Thanks. Bob

    • thefreckledfoodie January 12, 2014 at 7:40 am Reply

      Bob, that sounds amazing! Please let me know how it turns out 🙂

  4. Zach February 18, 2014 at 6:08 pm Reply

    Excellent recipe! I used minced garlic in stead of fresh. Then for the savory seasoning I didn’t have sage so I used margoram instead. Came out great! Next time I might add potatoes! Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Julie April 12, 2015 at 8:56 pm Reply

    What is EVOO?

  6. Mary July 19, 2015 at 8:42 pm Reply

    Some steps are missing # 1,6,12.
    OK anyway?

  7. Marcia Benwitzmbenwitz November 12, 2015 at 6:47 pm Reply

    This stew was so delicious! I added some dried cranraisins to it. Delish!

    • thefreckledfoodie November 16, 2015 at 4:16 pm Reply

      So glad you loved it Marcia! That sounds like a yummy addition

  8. Kate Wollaston December 2, 2015 at 6:30 am Reply

    Delicious! Thanks for the great recipe – I had no clue what to do with venison and this impressed my hunter husband and friends.

  9. Renee November 30, 2016 at 7:43 pm Reply

    Just made this today and loved it!!!

  10. Michele Gottlieb January 2, 2018 at 7:03 pm Reply

    I made this last night with pulled venison and it was amazing. We ate the rest of it today. I changed some of the ingredients so I could use what I had on hand. I used venison stock that I had made from crock-potting the leg and shoulder bones and vegetable stock. I added sweet potatoes (b/c I didn’t have a lot of carrots) and rice at the end. This one is a keeper and definitely going to become a go-to recipe for me. Thank you so much for sharing.

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