Christmas Venison Stew

Christmas Venison Stew

This Christmas Venison Stew with mushrooms, pancetta, chestnuts, parsnips, rosemary, and nutmeg is juicy and flavourful. The addition of brandy makes it also hearty, earthy, and soul-warming. Sprinkle it with some pomegranate arils, and you will get a perfect main course for your holiday dinner!

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Christmas Venison Stew

Hello everyone – how are you doing? I hope you had a nice weekend, and you are ready to embrace this new week. After all, any week would be better when a tasty and hearty winter stew is involved.

Besides, you can serve this stew for your Christmas dinner instead of a traditional turkey or ham. It is packed with some great seasonal flavours, and the flavour profile is nothing short of amazing!

Christmas Venison Stew

I love hearty and festive savoury recipes such as soup and stew. Cookies and eggnog all are great, but we need something substantial, too. I was not going to make any stew this year, though. However, one day our neighbor brought us a few excellent chunks of venison. I had never cooked with venison before. Of course, I could have made something basic. But I immediately thought of a stew packed with festive textures and flavours.

Mushrooms, chestnuts, pancetta, carrots, parsnips, and aromatic rosemary and nutmeg. And did I mention the addition of brandy? The result was phenomenal – succulent meat and so rich and flavourful sauce. It is complex, savoury, earthy, bold, and with pleasant sweet and subtly bitter (from brandy) notes. While pomegranate arils are optional, they nicely add the freshness and brightness, and they balance out the earthy aroma of the venison.

Serve it with buttery mashed potatoes or other your favourite side and your family and guests will be wowed.

More Hearty Christmas Recipes

Looking for more savoury ideas for your holiday dinner? I’ve got you covered!

Christmas Buckwheat Crêpes

Christmas Duck Stew

Chestnut Prosciutto Pasta

Marsala Sauce Meatballs

Christmas Veal Meatballs

I hope you like this Christmas Venison Stew, and you will make it a try. If you make it, let me know in this post or send me an Instagram message or share your photos adding the hashtag #havocinthekitchen.



Christmas Venison Stew

Recipe by Ben | HavocinthekitchenCourse: Main


Prep time


Cook time

2 to 2.5


This Christmas Venison Stew with mushrooms, pancetta, chestnuts, parsnips, rosemary, and nutmeg is juicy and flavourful. The addition of brandy makes it also hearty and soul-warming.


  • ~ 2 lb. venison chops (I had meat with some bones which equaled about 500 gr. of meat without bones) – cut into small-medium chunks

  • 350-300 gr. brown button mushroom, sliced

  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced

  • 150 gr. pancetta, cubed

  • 2 large parsnips (~200 gr.), thickly sliced

  • 2 medium carrots (~250 gr.), thickly sliced

  • 200-250 gr. cooked and peeled chestnuts, crumbled

  • 1 tbsp. minced rosemary

  • 5-7 large sage leaves, chiffonade

  • 1-2 bay leaves

  • 1/2 to 1 whole nutmeg, grated

  • 3 tsp. flour

  • about 1 cup of brandy

  • about 3 cups (or more) of light broth

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided

  • 1 tbsp. butter

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • Additional:
  • pomegranate arils, optional, for garnish

  • Equipment:
  • Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pan


  • In a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pan, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil over high-medium heat. Sear the venison chunks in 2-3 batches, for about 5-7 minutes each batch. Remove and set aside.
  • Add the mushrooms to the same Dutch oven and cook without adding any extra oil for about 7-10 minutes, until they release the excess of water and then start browning.
  • Decrease heat to medium-low. Add the second tablespoon of oil and onions and cook 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and aromatic. If necessary, you can deglaze the pan with a splash of brandy.
  • Add the pancetta, rosemary, sage, and cook for about 5 minute to brown the pancetta slightly.
  • In a meantime, in a separate small saucepan, cook the flour over low-medium heat for 3 minutes, until fragrant and slightly browned. Add 1 tbsp. of butter and 1/2 cup of hot broth or water, whisking constantly, until homogenous, cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add this slurry to the Dutch oven, mixing with a spoon constantly, to incorporate. Return the seared venison chunks to the Dutch oven. Add about 2,5 cups of broth, 1 cup of brandy, nutmeg, and bay leave. Season with some salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes, until the venison is getting quite soft. You may need to add more broth during this step.
  • Stir in the parsnips, cook 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the carrots, cook 15-20 minutes, or until the carrots and parsnips almost done.
  • Stir in the crumbled chestnuts and cook just for another minute or so. Check and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Also, if desired, add another splash of brandy. Remove the bay leaves. Enjoy served with a side of your choice. If you love pomegranate seeds, you can also sprinkle with some – they will add freshness and brightness. Keep leftovers refrigerated for up to 4 days.

16 thoughts on “Christmas Venison Stew

  1. Raymund says:

    This sounds like a fantastic Christmas dinner recipe! I love the combination of flavors and textures you’ve described, especially the contrast of the juicy venison with the sweet pomegranate arils. Adding brandy to the stew is a great way to add a touch of warmth and richness, and the rosemary and nutmeg are perfect festive spices.

  2. Neil says:

    I love this Christmas Venison Stew Ben. It’s definitely a festive feast for the senses! If only I could presuade my other half to change up our traditional Christmas turkey dinner to this instead. And I love the addition of pomegranate arils to add a delightful burst of freshness!
    Neil recently posted…Chicken And Chorizo SoupMy Profile

  3. Tasia says:

    First, you managed to make stew look sexy! Second, I want to dive in to this flavorful venison dish; I’ve got some venison in the freezer that will be perfect for this and looking forward to making it.
    Tasia recently posted…Marshmallow BrowniesMy Profile

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