Recipe: 5 Spice Venison Stew

Nancy Zander

Nancy Zander › Nan Zander is a mother, cook, gardener, sustainability coach and the owner of All Cooped Up, ...


Nancy Zander has a delicious recipe for Five Spice Venison Stew. Not only is it perfect for a gathering of friends on a cold winter night, it’s also a great way to cook through any venison meat you have stored away in the freezer. If venison isn’t readily available to you, substitute in some lamb or beef instead.

How ever you cook it, this stew is sure to be a tasty and satisfying meal!

Five Spice Venison Stew

2lbs venison loin, trimmed and cut into approx. 1 inch cubes

4 tbsp butter

4 tbsp olive oil

Flour for dredging

1 large onion, roughly chopped

3 or 4 cloves of garlic

8 oz. white mushrooms, quartered

1 tbsp Chinese Five Spice Powder

1/2 cup red wine

3/4 cup strong brewed coffee

1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp minced or grated fresh ginger

1/3 cup soy sauce

Juice and zest from one orange

2 cups peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 1/2 cups baby carrots

Approx. 3 cups free‐range chicken broth

Fresh pasta—preferably pappardelle or fettuccine

Fresh chopped chives for garnish


Preheat oven to 325 °

In a large dutch oven, melt 2 tbsp. butter and 1 or 2 tbsp of oil over medium/low heat. Make sure the oil covers the bottom of the pan. Dredge the meat in flour. Working in small batches so you don’t crowd the meat, brown it on all sides. This will happen fairly quickly. Regulate the heat so the meat browns but the flour doesn’t burn. Remove each batch with a slotted spoon, into a bowl. Add butter and oil as necessary, and repeat until all the meat is browned nicely.

Lower the heat a bit. Add more butter and oil if necessary, then add onions. Saute over low heat until translucent, stirring two or three times.

While the onions are cooking, combine coffee through orange juice in a bowl; mix well, and set aside.

Add mushrooms to dutch oven and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add garlic to vegetables and sprinkle 5 spice powder over. Saute over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring slowly but constantly. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, stirring, and let it reduce for a minute or two.

Add the bowl of sauce ingredients, the meat and any accumulated juices, then the sweet potatoes and carrots. Add enough of the broth to cover all the meat and veggies. Stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer.

Cover pot with foil, shiny side down, and place in the lower third of the oven. Bake, covered, for one hour. Uncover, remove foil, and continue to cook for another 1 ½ hours. Adjust seasonings, check to be sure sweet potatoes are fully cooked. They should be falling apart enough to thicken the sauce a bit. If you find your sauce is too liquid, mix a tbsp. of corn starch with a ¼ cup of the liquid, mix to a smooth paste, and stir back into the pot until smooth. Cook for ½ hour longer. Serve over cooked and drained pasta, sprinkled with chopped chives.

Stew is always great the second day, but if you are serving this for guests, cook it early the day you are serving it and let it rest. Your house will smell wonderful when your friends arrive.

Photo Credit: Peter Zander

Tell us how it turned out: