Welcome to I Love to Cook

Cooking is something I have always enjoyed. I learned to cook at the apron strings of my mother and grandmother. The experience of cooking brings me both pleasure and peace of mind.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Venison Bourguignon

Laura Calder's Beef Bourguignon
Kahuna Steve's Venison Bourguignon

I have been fascinated with French cooking and have gravitated towards Laura Calder's, "French Food at Home".  Much less innovation and a lot of attempted dedication to following a recipe.  Of course, I never really succeed in following exactly but the bottomline is to eat well.  My sister (Anita) and niece (Danielle) came to visit me last weekend for an upcoming bridal shower/bachelorette party for yet another niece (Laura).  All of our love to you and Jake for the upcoming wedding.  My weekend responsibility was to provide lodging for Anita & Danielle, cook for them, and to accompany them to the shower/bachelorette party. We had a great time but back to the cooking.  I had been raving about a beef bourguignon recipe I had seen Laura Calder prepare.  Anita asked if I could modify it and use venison - of course I was up for the challenge.

This recipe comes from Laura Calder's French Cooking at Home.  I have added my changes and comments in italics.


  • For the stew
  • 4 pounds boneless stew beef, such as chuck or sirloin tip venison, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons pork fat or olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 2 onions, peeled and halved
  • 4 cloves garlic, just crushed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 (750ml) bottle red wine
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 bouquet garni (made from bay leaf, parsley stems, and thyme sprigs)
For the garnish
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 6 to 8 slices bacon, cut into lardons
  • 40 baby onions, peeled
  • 16 ounces mushrooms


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the meat from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large casserole. Working in batches, brown the stew meat well on all sides, removing as you go. When the meat is done, cook the carrots and onions in the same pot until tender and lightly golden. Add the garlic, and cook one minute. Anita & Danielle are alleric to glutens so we used a special flor combo that was gluten free. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Pour over the wine and the stock. Add the bouquet garni. Return the meat to the pot, cover, and transfer to the oven until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours.

While the meat cooks, prepare the garnish: Heat the oil, in a pan and brown the bacon, and remove. Add the onions and cook until browned all over, remove. Finally, brown the mushrooms, and remove. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup water, reduce, and then pour over the garnish. Set aside. A slight oversight on my part.  I did not deglaze the pan or reduce the liquid with the garnish.  Basically I added the bacon, mushroom, & onion garnish cooked but dry to the pot.

When the meat is done, remove it from the pot. Strain the stock, discarding the vegetables, per my families insistence we strained the vegetables and returned the carrots to pot with the meat. The girls love carrots and the added sweetness from the carrots was a good call. Pour the liquid back into the pot, and boil until thick enough to coat a spoon. Return the meat & carrots to the pan and add the garnish. Cover, and simmer until the onions are tender and the flavors have blended, 10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings. Serve.
The girls also were a bit leary of the onons so I cut the number in half.  Not a great call but it made my guest happy and it still worked.  I personally love the flavor of onions.  I also took the leftovers to work and the re-heat in the microwave was a nice departure fom the daily standard fare.


  1. I am sure this dish made your guests really happy!Well done,Stephen!

  2. This stew sounds delicious and I'm sure the venison turned out great. Venison is lean, but I'm sure it was so tender in this dish. Great job, it's making me hungry!

  3. This looks so delish! I love meals that are hearty, hot and hit the spot! This one has it all, great job!

    My name is Yasmin and I'm glad I found your blog, it looks great! I invite you to have a look at mine too when you get the time.


  4. Very flavorful Stephen! I'm not sure my boys would go for venison but they'd definitely love it with beef!

  5. I must be so rich with flavor. Never knew how to cook venison... Thanks for the recipe!


  6. Oh wow, it's been such a long time since I have eaten venison. Love the bacon garnish too!

  7. This is a great recipe that I will be passing on to my niece who loves venison also. I would have to double up on the onions and cut the number of carrots in half. Thanks for the recipe and I'm so glad to find your great blog! I'll be looking around now...

  8. Wow I would have done anything for this recipe when we lived in NY my husband goes deer hunting and would love this one its fabulous! Bravo! nicely done...

  9. Nicely done! It looks fantastic.

  10. This really does look wonderful. Venison can sometimes be tough and it sounds like you were able to avoid that problem. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  11. I haven't had venison in ages. This looks fantastic!

  12. This sounds so tasty ! I really love venison, but hardly get to eat it. May have to see if my WF's is stocking it before the weather turns.

    PS Your site is looking great !! :)