Venison Stroganoff

4.93 from 51 votes
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venison stroganoff recipe
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

This one is a classic. I mean really: Who hasn’t eaten beef stroganoff?

I’ve seen (and eaten) so many versions of this French standby (yes, despite the name it’s a French dish) that I’ve lost track. They’ve ranged from horrible — cream of mushroom soup and hamburger — to sublime renditions done with care and with great ingredients. I hope you find this recipe one of the latter.

Stroganoff has traditionally been made with quality meat, sliced thin. That means cuts like sirloin or even filet mignon in beef. Hamburger versions are OK, but not my thing.

With venison, thinly sliced pieces of backstrap mixed with mushrooms, shallots, dill and sour cream are the ticket. This is filling, easy-to-eat cool-weather food of the first order.

Know that there is huge variation in stroganoff recipes. A few things are pretty consistent, however. To be a proper stroganoff, you must have thinly sliced red meat — beef, lamb, venison, elk, etc. — sour cream, mushrooms, some sort of onion, and butter. Lots of butter.

What to eat it with? Well, historically it’s been French fries, believe it or not.

But here in America stroganoff is almost always served with egg noodles. This tastes great, but is brutal to photograph. (I think Holly did a great job with these photos, no?) So I went with Austrian spätzle, which are a lot like egg noodles.

You can do whatever, but I really like the way the stroganoff matches with the little spätzle dumplings. And if you don’t want to make these plain Jane spätzle, try my pumpkin spätzle or nettle spätzle, which can also be done with spinach.

venison stroganoff recipe
4.93 from 51 votes

Vension Stroganoff with Spatzle

My version of venison stroganoff relies good, fresh mushrooms, shallots, a splash of Madeira wine, and both fresh dill and a rarer ingredient, dill pollen, which you can omit if you can't find it. As for the dairy, butter is the fat and sour cream is the sauce. Can you loosen it with some heavy cream? You bet. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I did not in the photo. 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Servings: 4 people
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds venison backstrap, in one piece
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 pound sliced cremini or button mushrooms
  • 1/4 pound sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup Madeira wine or sherry
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • Dill pollen to garnish (optional)
  • Heavy cream, optional (to loosen sauce)


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon black or white pepper
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Up to 3/4 cup heavy cream


  • I make the spaetzle first. These can be made up to a day ahead and stored in the fridge. Mix all the ingredients except the heavy cream together in a bowl. Now thin the sticky dough into a batter that is a bit like really thick pancake batter with the heavy cream. I use a Spaetzle Maker to make my spaetzle, but you can either use a colander with wide holes or just flick the dough/batter off a cutting board with a knife.
  • Get a kettle of salty water going over high heat. Once it boils, make the spaetzle. Boil them hard until they float, then 1 minute more. Skim off with a slotted spoon or a spider skimmer. Move them to a baking sheet. When they are all made, toss them with a little oil so they don't stick together.
  • To make the stroganoff, salt the venison well and let it sit on the cutting board for 20 minutes or so. I do this while I make the spaetzle. Get 2 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan good and hot over medium-high heat. Pat the venison dry and sear all sides well in the butter. Cook it until it's rare to medium-rare. If you don't know how to determine this, use the finger test for doneness. When the meat is ready. move it to a cutting board and let it rest.
  • Add the mushrooms to the pan and turn the heat to high. Soon they will give up their water, and when they do, use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When most of the water has boiled away, add the rest of the butter to the pan along with the shallots and saute everything for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic, toss and cook over high heat for another 3 minutes or so. Sprinkle some salt over everything.
  • Add the Madeira and toss to combine. Let this boil down furiously. While it is doing so, grate some nutmeg over the mixture. When the Madeira is mostly gone, turn the heat down to low. Slice the venison thinly and return it and any juices that have collected on the cutting board to the pan. Stir to combine and add most of the chopped fresh dill.
  • Stir in the sour cream and turn off the heat. Stir to combine and let it heat through from the heat in the pan. Do not let this boil, or even simmer, or Very Bad Things will happen. Think nasty curdled crap. To serve, spread out over the spaetzle and top with any remaining dill and the dill pollen, if using.


Calories: 806kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 250mg | Sodium: 290mg | Potassium: 1146mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 962IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 11mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This was my entry-level dish the first time I cooked Venison. Teenagers complained about the mushrooms (but who cares?)….but absolutely no one detected that it was Venison! Made a believer outta me than Venison is capable of being used in just about any dish. (Especially if you follow Chef Shaw’s techniques)

  2. I used egg noodles and Antelope…my wife and kids cleaned their plates. Excellent. One day I will follow entire recipe but this recipe as with most of Hanks recipes he offers suggestions to simplify or substitute. I especially appreciate that part as I like to experiment a bit.

  3. This is incredible!! Made it with venison backstrap a buddy gave me. Served it over egg noodles. Otherwise followed the recipe to a tee. So good I want you sneak downstairs and stick a folk straight into the bowl in the fridge. Paired it with a bottle of Reisling from Alsace someone must have given us years ago that was on the bottle shelf of the fridge. Just awesome combination. My five-year loved the plain medium rare venison. (No Reisling for her though) The chopped dill throughout, and on top make this taste like you’re eating off a beautiful bed of moss. Outrageously good!! You are at the top of your game with recipe Hank!

  4. Absolutely delicious Hank! I have made this twice and using the backstrap is the best. So Tender. I love the taste of the Sherry wine paired with the fresh dill. Great Job. Will make again soon.

  5. Vet2be: don’t use ground like he said. Use roast meat to slow cook over hours in a crock pot, it will shred apart like classic beef stroganoff does. Use some heavy cream in the crock pot and add sour cream at the end.

  6. I made this the other night and it was incredible! I wondered if it would be possible to make this in the slow cooker for days when the schedule is more packed?

    1. Vet2Be: Sorta. You can’t make this version, because the meat is still pink inside when you eat it. But you could sub in ground venison and it’d work fine.

  7. My husband said this is the best stroganoff he’s ever had. I made some substitutions like regular onions instead of shallots and white mushrooms I had on hand, etc. but it still turned out great. Unfortunately I fell asleep and woke up too late to make the spaetzle but I can’t wait to try that next time. We served it over egg noodles. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Much like Hank’s Venison Diane, this a recipe that is fast, easy, and can probably be thrown together with what is in your kitchen. I’m pretty far from town, so I love recipes like that. This recipe also allows you to improvise with fabulous results. I had creminis and black trumpets. OMG the trumpets! Just use two different kinds of mushrooms, and you’ll nail it. I don’t usually put nutmeg in my stroganoff, but I’m tellin’ ya, this is the secret ingredient! I would have loved dill with this. But I didn’t have it. Parsley and Cilantro were good subs. I made this with tenderloin, not backstrap. But that’s a pretty obvious substitution. Thank you, Hank, another five stars!

  9. I don’t have any back strap but I do have some steaks and a roast in the freezer. Do you think it would work out if I sliced it, pounded it thin and seared it, instead of cooking the whole back strap?

  10. Just made this stroganoff and oh my goodness it was delicious. I made a couple changes though. I do a lot of canning and the venison I used was out of the jar, and I didn’t use dill & nutmeg (my hubby don’t like it) and I used white zinfadel instead of madeira wine.. I’m so glad I found this site. Thanks so much !!

  11. I made this delightful stroganoff, but I put it over roasted cauliflower florets for a lower carb option. I like noodles as much as the next person, but this was delicious.

  12. Stroganoff is a great classic. It’s originality comes from 19th Century Russia where a variety of meats were eaten in this art.
    Stroganoff, compliments the venison in my eyes….and taste buds!

  13. Made this for supper tonight. It was delicious. Meat was almost as tender as the noodles and the sauce was rich and tasty.

  14. Comfort food indeed! This dish was a staple in my mom and dad’s house when I was growing up. Can’t wait to try out this recipe!

  15. I have been browsing your site for quite a while and made a few of your recipes. I have 3 deer in the freezer so far this season and plan on making a lot more of your recipes! This one looks amazing and will definitely be added to the list!
    Keep up the good work.

  16. Hey Hank, just processed my first deer yesterday. Looked to your site for some recipes. Made venison stock from one section of ribs that looked too small to worry about as well as the leg bones and shoulder. Planning on making your barbacoa this week as well with the front shoulder.

    I saw this post today and just had to let you know that I have been making grass fed beef stroganoff for years now and can’t wait for the venison version next. Anyway here’s the recipe I use and I would never suggest it other than it truly is phenomenal. It comes from “Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook” by Anya Von Bremson. I follow it pretty loosely in terms of quantities. But the book is well worth it too

    Keep up the great work