VenisonWild Recipes

The Best Venison Bolognese

Follow me
Latest posts by Gunnar Emberg (see all)
0.0 from 0 votes

Bolognese is a dish that is comforting, filling, and all around delicious. Adding venison to it is a great way to step it up a notch. You can make this dish as simple or as complex as you want; I opted for the more complex.

I view this dish as a dish that can have many interpretations, and all of them be delicious. I add some unique ingredients to mine as a way to up the flavor and pair it well with the venison. One of those ingredients is coffee grounds. They melt into the sauce, but bring an earthiness that ties in very well with the venison and completes a more well rounded dish for me.

One of my secret weapons in this dish, and a lot of others, is cinnamon. Most will say it doesn’t belong in this dish, I say they’re wrong. When used right, cinnamon isn’t just for desserts. Cinnamon gives a nice warming spice that can tie a whole dish together. Using just the right amount, cinnamon can be a bridge between spicy, savory, and earthy. Use just enough to where you ask what that flavor is, but not enough that it overpowers the entire dish. I use cinnamon in my beef and pork rubs for BBQ, in my Italian sauces, as well as some of my steak rubs.

I serve this sauce over homemade pappardelle pasta; it really lets the dish sing. There’s just something about homemade pasta and homemade sauce that keeps you wanting more. Plus, you have 2-3 hours to clean up and make pasta before this dish is done, plenty of time! I toss a little sauce with the pasta for 2 reasons as well. One to keep it from sticking completely together before serving time, and two, to let the pasta soak up some of the sauce flavor.

You could can this sauce if you wanted to as well, but that’s a topic for another day! Enjoy!

Serving Size: 4-6 servings

Time to make: 3 hours, 30 min

Also works with: Any ground meat

Serve with: Noodles and garlic bread

Listen to our Podcast
Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, Amazon Music

Try our Delicious Wild Fish and Game Spice Blends!

Venison Bolognese

Recipe by Gunnar Emberg
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: Venison, Wild Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time


Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on


  • 1lb ground venison

  • 1lb ground pork

  • 5oz pancetta, diced

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 large carrot, chopped

  • 1 stalk celery, chopped

  • 6 oz tomato paste

  • 3 anchovy fillets

  • 1 jar strained tomatoes

  • 1 quart beef or venison stock

  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 teaspoon coffee grounds

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 2 teaspoons MSG (optional)

  • 1 hunk Parmesan rind

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • Chopped fresh parsley to garnish

  • Noodles to serve


  • In a cold Dutch oven or soup pot, add pancetta and set to medium heat, allow to render until crispy, remove from pan.
  • Next add carrots, onion, celery and salt and allow to cook for 5 minutes or until onions are nearly translucent.
  • Move vegetables to the outside edge of the pot, allowing a bare spot in the middle. Add anchovy filets and garlic, and allow to cook and break apart the filets. Once broken apart nicely, combine with veggies.
  • Add venison and pork, break apart, and cook until all browned, crumbled, and combined evenly with veggies.
  • Add tomato paste and allow to melt into the meat mixture, stirring until combined.
  • Add 1 cup of dry red wine to deglaze the pot, once cooked off, add another cup of wine and allow to cook off half way.
  • Add tomatoes and beef stock and stir to combine
  • Add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, coffee, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, MSG and parmesan rind. Stir to combine.
  • Turn to low heat, and allow to reduce until it becomes a thick sauce, roughly 2-3 hours.
  • Add in cream and stir. Serve over your favorite pasta, top with fresh grated cheese, chopped parsley, and the crispy pancetta! Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @harvestingnature on Instagram and hashtag it with #harvestingnature

Like this recipe?

Follow @harvestingnature on Pinterest

Join our Facebook Group!

Join Harvesting Nature’s Facebook group Harvesting Nature – The Group

Gunnar Emberg

My love for the outdoors made its way into my home and onto my plate! I strive to make dishes that create a long-lasting memory that keep that animal living forever in your mind! To me, food is great way to bring everyone together for a common goal, to share the eating experience! I started The Hungry Huntsman as a way to teach people that these dishes are doable at home but also to travel as a camp cook to show people that anyone can do this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop