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Holiday Entertaining: Easy Make Ahead Recipe – Bold Flavors

Holiday Entertaining: Easy Make Ahead Recipe – Bold Flavors

Just recently, my friend, Sherry, was regretfully  telling me that no one in her family wanted to host their annual family Christmas party this year. I can SO understand that. Every year as Christmas approaches, I wish there could be two of me; one to get things done and the other to enjoy the holidays. I am sure that everyone feels that same squeeze as they scurry around to the different parties and shop for the perfect gifts for family and friends.

Sherry is one of the most hospitable souls that I know, but she is feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work that Christmas presents. She need a bold tasting, beautiful, hearty make- ahead recipe that leaves her time to do the one thing that really matters: enjoy her family. Venison/Beef Bourguignon is just that dish. This dish is not expensive and is packed full of bold unforgettable flavors.

This is on my favorite dishes EVER! Venison Bourguignon is an easy make-ahead meal with BOLD flavors. Great for entertaining.

This is on my favorite dishes EVER! Venison Bourguignon is an easy make-ahead meal with BOLD flavors. Great for entertaining.

Bourguignon is a peasant dish originating from Burgundy, located just east of France. It is a stew using a few vegetables and a tough cut of meat which is braised in wine (Burgundy) and beef stock flavored with garlic and onions. The wine acts as a tenderizer as does braising the meat, therefore any cut of meat will suffice. I cook my tough meat chickens and old laying hens using this method.

Serving Venison Bourguignon has become a family tradition every Christmas Eve. If you don’t have venison, you can make this with beef (stew meat)!! I don’t think that I have ever prepared this dish without receiving sincere rave reviews. There is no way to mess this dish up, which also eases my mind as I prepare my home to receive guests.

One of my favorite ways to serve the Bourguignon is to mound mashed potatoes in the middle of a bowl and pour the Bourguignon over the potatoes. I usually make a hearty rustic bread and salad to serve alongside this dish.

I promise that you won’t be disappointed!!!







  • 3 lbs. venison or beef stew meat or hindquarter
  • cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 8 oz. good bacon diced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large Vidalia onions
  • 4 carrots sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic 2 cloves
  • 2 1/2 cups canned beef broth
  • 2 cups good red wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons 1/2 stick unsalted butter at room
  • temperature divided
  • 1 lb. mushrooms thickly sliced


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat.
  2. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon.

  3. Salt and pepper venison. In very hot skillet add a single layer of venison, brown it on all sides working in batches. Do not crowd the pan or the meat will steam instead of brown. Set aside.

  4. Place onions, and carrots into the stockpot. Cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes or until the onions are lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for one minute longer. Add the wine and broth into pot. Add the venison, bacon, tomato paste, and and broth into pot. Add the venison, bacon, tomato paste, and thyme. Bring to a boil. When it reaches a boil turn it to low and simmer for about 2 hours.

  5. Sauté mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter until lightly browned. Add to stew.

  6. Thicken the stew by mixing 1/4 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of flour, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour mixture into pot. Simmer for about 5 minutes.

  7. Garnish with parsley and serve with crusty bread and butter.



4 responses to “Holiday Entertaining: Easy Make Ahead Recipe – Bold Flavors”

  1. […] Duck, Cheese, and Olive Platter with you, and my Duck Meatballs then later I would serve you my hot Venison Bourguignon with garlic mashed potatoes and Crusty […]

  2. […] Chris arrived, I was excited to serve him Venison Bourguignon and had planned a few other meals that I thought that he would enjoy such as Roasted Snapper with […]

  3. Amber says:

    What wine do you recommend? I’m not a wine-o and have no idea where to start?

    • stacy says:

      Hey Amber. Good to hear from you. I’m still learning about wines myself. I know this…you don’t have to spend a fortune on the wine, but it needs to be drinkable. Don’t get a cooking wine. You’ll need to get a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon for this recipe. You’ll find them at the grocery store of your choice. You don’t have to cook with it, but I promise you after you do cook with it, you will use it all the time in cooking. It adds a flavor that is unlike anything else. It’s like adding salt to your food. The flavor brings out every other flavor in your meal. If you don’t want to use the wine, just add more broth if you need the more liquid. Let me know what you end up using and how you like it. Great questions. Thanks for asking.

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