pinotage, south african wine, matching food with wine, venison stew, pinotageIt’s starting to get pretty nippy and this is when South African reds really come into their own.  A hearty meal with a robust red chases away any November blues!  This venison stew recipe is just the ticket.  It’s really quick and easy to make (don’t let the marinating put you off, the total prep time is 20 minutes, so you can’t go wrong there).  The venison is marinated overnight to add flavour and soften the meat for a melt in your mouth texture and then the following evening simmered for an hour.  I would serve Pinotage with this, Fleur du Cap is one of the better ones available here and a very good match. This wine has a deep red colour with purplish edges. On the nose it shows a variety of dark fruit flavours such as plums and black cherries enhanced with subtle oak spices and vanilla. On the pallet, complex flavours of black berry fruits mix with tobacco and cellar oak. The wine has a soft tannin structure and a velvet textured finish.

Prep Time20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Marinade: 8 hours


Ingredients for four hungry peoplepinotage, south african wine, matching food with wine, venison stew, pinotage, durbanville hills

  • 1 kilo of  venison, cubed
  • One large onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 stalks of finely chopped celery
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
  • 1 cup red wine (all the better if you use the same wine you’re drinking with it)
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 5 rashers, chopped (or if you can get them, a pack of lardons)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 250g button mushrooms
  • Four large rooster potatoes chopped into bite sized chunks (optional)



Put the venison, onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, and the herbs into a glass bowl or casserole dish. Pour the red wine and beef stock over the venison and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or even better overnight.

Drain the liquid marinade and reserve it for use later in this recipe.

In a large saucepan over high heat, crisp the bacon or lardons, then remove with a slotted spoon leaving the grease.  Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery in the bacon grease for 5 minutes, until the vegetables turn soft. Transfer them to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set it aside for a moment.

Toss the venison with the flour and brown it in the remaining bacon grease. Once all sides of the meat are browned, stir in the tomato paste and cook the mixture for 1 minute.

Add the mushrooms, cooked vegetables, crisped bacon, and reserved marinade liquid into the pan with the browned venison, and if you choose add the chopped potatoes now, and then cook the mixture over low heat, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Or you can pop it in a preheated oven at 180° for the same length of time.   An alternative to adding the potatoes at this stage is to serve with creamy mashed spuds (my preference).  Or you can have both!

The venison stew is done when the meat and vegetables are tender and the sauce is thickened.

Comfort food.