Italian Venison Stew (Tuscan)

Three of my favorite things are combined to make this Italian Venison Stew.

One is Italian cuisine, then you have venison, and lastly stew.

Italian Venison Stew (Tuscan)

However, this is not your normal everyday stew. Peposo alla Fiorentina is one of the oldest stews in history and dates back to the 15th century.

The original recipe for this stew was without tomatoes because Italy didn’t even have tomatoes back then.


  • venison 
  • garlic cloves 
  • whole peppercorns 
  • sea salt 
  • Chianti 
  • tinned tomatoes 
  • rosemary 
  • bay leaves 
  • high-temp oil 
  • clarified butter
Italian Venison Stew (Tuscan)

I normally like to use venison neck for traditional venison stew, however, for this recipe I used venison sirloin, also known as the football due to its shape.

This dish is traditionally made with chianti, but any dry red wine will work.

As I mentioned above, although Italy is now famous for tomato-based dishes like bolognese, this dish is traditionally made without tomatoes.

However, I much prefer to use tomatoes in this dish, as they work well with the venison.

I like spicy food and I make this Italian venison stew with 1.5 tablespoons of whole black peppercorns.

However, I find this may be too spicy for a lot of people, so the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon, but you could go up to 1.5 for a real punch.


While the original stew was cooked in pots using the residual heat from the kilns of the workers, I don’t expect you to cook it like that.

Italian Venison Stew (Tuscan)

There are 3 potential methods for cooking this stew. (1) You can cook it in a Dutch oven placed in the oven (2) It can be cooked on the stove top, or (3) You can cook it in a slow cooker.

  1. Preheat oven to 325F: This method is if you are cooking in the oven.
  2. Lightly crush the peppercorns: The pepper is the star of the show here, so it is only lightly crushed and not turned to powder.
  3. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over high heat 
  4. Brown the venison in the pot, half at a time: Adding too much venison will reduce the temperature of the pot and it won’t be hot enough to brown the venison.
  5. Salt venison while browning 
  6. Remove to a bowl and reduce the heat 
  7. Add the butter to the pot and melt 
  8. Add garlic to the pot and cook for 2 minutes
  9. Return the venison to the pot 
  10. Pour over the wine 
  11. Add the tomatoes, pepper, bay leaves, and rosemary: Gently crush the tomatoes with your hands before adding them to the pot.
  12. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 3-4 hours. Alternatively, cook in a slow cooker on low for 5 hours


Italian Venison Stew (Tuscan)

My two favorite ways of serving this beautiful peppery Italian stew are over polenta, or with crusty bread to soak up the sauce.

Italian Venison Stew (Tuscan)

Italian Venison Stew

A rich Tuscan venison stew infused with black peppercorns and Chianti wine, traditionally paired with Tuscan bread or polenta. A timeless Florentine favorite!
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Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: italian, stew, Venison
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Servings: 6 People
Calories: 359kcal
Author: Rusty


  • 1 slow cooker optional
  • 1 Dutch oven


  • 2 lbs venison stewing meat note 1
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
  • 650 ml red wine Chianti
  • 9.5 oz tinned tomatoes
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp high temp oil note 2
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • Lightly crush the peppercorns
  • Heat the oil in a Ducth oven over high heat
  • Brown the venison in pot, half at a time
  • Salt venison while browning
  • Remove to a bowl and reduce heat
  • Add the butter to the pot and melt
  • Add garlic to the pot and cook for 2 minutes
  • Return the venison to the pot
  • Pour over the wine
  • Add the tomatoes, pepper, bay leaves and rosemary
  • Cover with lid and place in the oven for 3-4 hours
  • Alternatively cook in slow cooker on low for 5 hours


  1. I like to use venison neck for stews. However, for this recipe you could also use any of the hind muscles, such as round or sirloin
  2. Before stewing the venison you will need to brown it in a pot or pan over high heat. For this you will need an oil that can reach high temperatures. My favorite is avocado oil.


Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 335mg | Potassium: 780mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 6mg

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