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Venison Ragù with pasta and grated cheese in a shallow bowl.

Slow Cooked Venison Ragù

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooking


This rich and delicious Slow Cooked Venison Ragù recipe is the perfect make-ahead friendly dinner, perfect tossed with fresh pasta and finished with a generous grating of pecorino cheese.


  • 2 tbsp light oil
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 small brown onion
  • 1 small celery stick
  • sea salt
  • 110g diced pancetta
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 500g minced venison
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250ml red wine
  • 250ml chicken or beef stock
  • 200g chopped tomatoes (half a tin)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 25g unsalted butter


  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan or casserole over a medium heat until shimmering. Add the carrot, onion and celery, all peeled and / or trimmed and finely chopped along with a pinch of salt. Gently cook for 10-12 minutes until very soft.
  2. Stir in the pancetta, and cook for a further 5 minutes until it no longer looks raw and the fat has started to melt down. Crush the garlic cloves and stir them into the pan, cooking for a further minute until aromatic.
  3. Add the venison, and turn the heat up to high. Break the mince up as you stir into the smallest pieces possible (you won’t get it to break down as much as you will minced beef, so don’t worry!), cooking until the meat no longer looks raw, and has started to colour.
  4. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for a further few minutes until slightly caramelised. Add the rosemary and bay.
  5. Stir in the red wine, stock and chopped tomatoes, and season well with black pepper and a little more salt. Once the mixture has come to the boil, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer, uncovered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. When you’re cooking the pasta, just before serving, fish out the bay leaf and the stems from the rosemary sprigs. Then check to see if the ragu needs any more salt or pepper before stirring in the butter until it melts into the sauce.


Venison always tastes better the next day, so if you have time make it ahead and allow the flavours to develop in the fridge overnight.