Wild Venison Ragu

Cooking time
Serves4-6 people
Gluten-free diets
Wild Venison Ragu

This is a beautiful, thick, rich and wholesome Italian-style ragu but made with our gamey wild venison, and a tickle of earthy spice.

49 ratings
layout 8 comments


  • 500g wild diced venison
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 rashers of bacon, snipped into lardons
  • Olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick or a pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 glasses of red wine, or enough to just cover
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée

A knock out with freshly cooked tagliatelle or a potato dish like our Pommes Anna and a hearty helping of autumnal greens. 15 mins (prep) | 2½ hrs (cooking)

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1. Heat your oven to 160°C/Fan 140°C/Gas 3 oven, if using. Sizzle the bacon or pancetta in a little olive oil, along with the onions, bay leaves and pinch of salt and pepper. Cook till the bay is fragrant and the onions tender and golden.
2. Season the diced venison. Add to the pot with the garlic, cinnamon and cloves. Sear till the venison browns.
3. Add enough wine to cover. Bubble it for a few mins so the alcohol evaporates a little. Stir in the tomato paste.
4. Simmer for 2 hrs on the hob or in the oven, till the meat almost falls apart when prodded with a fork. Or, pop the ragu in a slow cooker overnight.
5. Check a few times during cooking. Add a little water if the mix is dry. When cooked, shred the meat with a fork. It should just fall apart. Taste. Adjust seasoning.
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Love this recipe - have already passed it on to friends as venison so reasonable at the moment. the key I think is to really let it cook long and slow, and if your cloves and/or cinnamon are very fresh then look at quantities (I did double the meat and doubled the spices and think 1 1/2 times would have been better). However it has such a lovely unusual Christmassy flavour I am doing it on Boxing Day.



Two hours my Aunt Fanny... next time I'll make sure to allow at least 3, and substitute half the wine for stock, because this came out very much NOT falling apart by itself and acidic as all heck. The cinnamon and clove flavour worked great, however, and there is clearly the germ of a great dish in here so I will be trying it again - or rather, something based on it.



Love this recipe, we substituted the bacon with anchovies, it worked real nice! Had it with mashed celeriac yesterday, today with pasta! Thanks Abel.



Really disappointed with this recipe. I actually think it comes down to the venison Abel and Cole sent us on Friday. It has gone so dry, and almost bitter. We have had to add a lot of salt, a can of tomatoes and sour creme to salvage it.



aspiring chef


I love some of the a&c recipes but this one is my favourite



Wow, just had this for tea, with pasta, broccoli and asparagus. I added a vege stock tube to mine and a good dollop of cream at the end. I will definitely be making this again. So delicious!


Having read the other review I used only two cloves and having eaten the meal, interestingly, I would advise the opposite and add more than the recommended three! We didn't really enjoy this, it lacked depth despite using quality ingredients and I feel I haven't made the most of the lovely venison I had. Hmm, not sure what it was missing.


I just made this and WANT to love it but LEAVE OUT THE CLOVES. I don't know how just three of the tiny insidious devils can be so overpowering amongst all these other flavours (and I even fished them out at the end) but they are. Otherwise, a lovely, rich and meaty dish that's great with pasta.





common sense