Wild Recipes

Venison Hungarian Goulash

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It’s a crazy time in the world today with a virus that’s keeping most of us indoors. Lucky as hunters we have a freezer stocked with meat and we don’t need to meet the mad rush at the grocery store, for the most part. I was lucky enough to bag a great deer this season and what better time to make a nice stew with some of the meat. The kids are home, it’s cold outside and everyone just seems to be hungry every minute of the day. This recipe can be made and eaten right away or kept in the fridge or freezer for quite some time. It even tends to get better the second day. This is Hungarian goulash. An easy dish with just a few ingredients that’s very versatile. If you don’t have all the ingredients you can even leave some out and it will still be great. Just don’t leave out the paprika.

Serves: 6-8 people

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2-3 hours

Special Equipment: Dutch Oven

Serve with: Cooked White Rice


1 Mule Deer round (back leg about 6lbs)
2 onions, diced
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup paprika
2 teaspoon marjoram, dried
1 ounce balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 bay leaves
1 quart water (or beef stock)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil as needed
Parsley to taste, fine chopped

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  1. Remove the bone and silver skin from the leg of deer.
  2. Cut the meat into 1” cubes
  3. Place a large heavy bottom pot on medium high heat. Season the cubed venison with salt and pepper. Place about a tablespoon of oil in the pot and sear the meat in small batches being sure not to crowd the pan. Brown the meat on all sides and remove them from the pot. Repeat until all the meat is seared.
  4. Add a bit more oil in the pot and add in the diced onions. Sauté the onions for 2-3 min. Stirring frequently until the start to brown.
  5. Add in sliced garlic and stir for about 30 sec until the garlic gets fragrant.
  6. Add in all the paprika, marjoram, balsamic vinegar, caraway seeds and tomato paste and stir until combined.
  7. Add in the bay leaves and water. The liquid should almost cover all the meat. Do not
    completely cover it. Stir and bring to a boil.
  8. Once the pot is boiling stir the pot, cover it and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the stew for 2-2.5 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Open the pot and stir every 45 min or so.
  9. Serve the goulash on a bed of rice, pasta, or spaetzle. Garnish with some chopped parsley.

Ara Zada

Born and raised in Los Angeles Ara Zada is a chef, author, TV personality, food stylist and avid bow hunter. He has worked with Outdoor News, PBS, Food Network, ABC, CBS, NBC, TNT, Jaime Oliver Food Foundation and a range of others. His first cookbook ‘Lavash’ was released Oct. 2019. When he’s not cooking he’s shooting his bow, teaching his kids about the outdoors, training for triathlons and filling any available time with parkour.

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