This venison ragu is extremely versatile and could be used in any number of ways. I would suggest first trying it with pasta and some grated Pecorino on top. After that it can really go with anything or even stand alone as a stew.


3 LBS – Venison shoulder, 1″ dice
4 Tbs – Oil, grapeseed
2 – Onions, 1/4″ diced
2 – Carrots, 1/4″ diced
12 cloves – Garlic, thinly sliced
3 cups – Red wine

9 oz – Tomato paste
2 Tbs – Rosemary, chopped
1 1/2 tsp – Salt
1/2 tsp – Petter
Pasta – Spaghetti or bucatini work great


  1. Place a pot over medium-high heat and add the oil.
  2. When the oil begins to smoke add the venison to the pot and brown it hard on one side. Work in batches if necessary to keep from overloading the pot.
  3. Flip the meat and repeat the browning on the other side.
  4. Once browned all over, remove the meat from the pot and set aside.
  5. Add the onions and carrots to the pot and sauté for 4-6 minutes or until the onions start to color.
  6. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add the tomato paste and roast for 3-4 minutes or until the paste turns a dark maroon color.
  8. Deglaze the pot with the red wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape all the brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
  9. Return the meat to the pot and simmer for 2 1/2-3 hours or until you can just pull the meat apart but it is still tough. Keep the meat covered during the cooking, add some water if necessary.
  10. Once the meat is able to be pulled apart, pull the ragu off the heat and remove the meat.
  11. Pull the diced meat apart so that every cube is torn in half and return the meat to the pot. This allows more moisture into the middle of each piece of meat and also gives it a rustic look.
  12. Add the chopped rosemary, salt and pepper to the pot and simmer the ragu for a further 30-45 minutes or until the meat is very tender.
  13. Cool the ragu overnight in the fridge to allow it time to build up the flavor. 
  14. When you are ready to serve, heat up the ragu in a pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Add some water to the pot if necessary to avoid the sauce drying out.
  15. Cook some pasta and toss into the ragu.
  16. Plate the venison ragu and finish with olive oil and some fresh grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese.
The Wild Kitchen Vol. 3