Venison bolognese is one of the best dishes you can make when you have ground deer meat on hand. This is the best recipe yielding in a rich, tomato sauce.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 cup finely diced carrots (about 2–3 carrots)
- 1 lb. ground venison* (see note below for other types of meat)
- 3–4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 Tbsp. sugar (optional but suggested)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 6 oz. tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 cup dry red wine* (see note)
- 28oz. crushed tomatoes
- 28–30oz. (3 10oz., 2 14oz. cans, or 1 28oz. can) tomato sauce
- optional – parmesan cheese rind
- Fresh parsley + parmesan cheese + pasta for serving
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and carrot and saute until the onion starts to soften, about 5-7 minutes.
- Then, add the ground venison and brown the meat, cooking for about 8 minutes and breaking up the meat as it cooks.
- Then, add the garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and tomato paste and saute for 2 minutes to let the flavors release.
- Deglaze the pan by pouring in the red wine vinegar and wine. Scrape up any bits of flavor at the bottom of the pan.
- Finally, add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce and mix together well. If you have one handy, add the rind or end of a brick of parmesan cheese to the sauce. It releases great flavor during cooking.
- Once the sauce reaches a slow boil, turn the heat to low and cover the pot. Allow the sauce to simmer for at LEAST 30 minutes, but an hour to a few hours is better. Heck, all day if you have it!
- Remove the parmesan rind before serving and ladle the sauce over your pasta of choice. Top with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese if desired.
- This recipe also works well with ground elk, lamb or bear meat. If you’d like to use beef or turkey, omit the red wine vinegar or just use 2 teaspoons instead of a full tablespoon.
- You can sub the wine with beef or vegetable broth, but I really recommend using it if you can. No need for anything fancy, drinkable wine, even boxed, is fine. I usually use a cabernet.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes+
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian American
Keywords: bolognese, venison, wild game, pasta, Italian