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Dutch Oven Venison and Pumpkin Stew Recipe

This fall recipe is perfect for tougher cuts of venison that are best cooked “low and slow.”

Dutch Oven Venison and Pumpkin Stew Recipe

A bowl of hot venison and pumpkin stew topped with a dollop of sour cream and bacon crumbles. (Photo courtesy of "The Sporting Chef")

Print Recipe

By using liquid, time and a low cooking temperature, tough and otherwise “chewy” meat turns into tender morsels. If pumpkin is not readily available, you can substitute butternut or acorn squash in this stew recipe.

Serves: 6-8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 6 cups venison, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 strips bacon
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup beef or game stock
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomato, with juice
  • 2 cups pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


  1. Season venison liberally with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-duty pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Reserve bacon and leave bacon grease in the Dutch oven.
  3. Add venison to Dutch oven and brown evenly. Once browned, use a slotted spoon to remove venison from the pot and hold in a bowl or plate.
  4. Add onion to the pot and cook until lightly browned, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Return venison to the pot; add rosemary, garlic, red wine, stock and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours or until meat is tender.
  6. Add remaining ingredients, except sour cream, and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Crumble reserved bacon.
  7. To serve, ladle into bowls and top with sour cream and bacon crumbles.

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