Saturday, December 7, 2019

Venison Stew with the Hidden Gem of Sicily, Nero d'Avola #ItalianFWT

Tender chunks of venison, browned in butter and olive oil and then braised in a tomato base seasoned with Italian herbs and citrus zest served over egg noodles and paired with a wonderful bottle of Nero d'Avola.

Join the Italian FWT group as we visit the lesser known wine regions of Italy today.....
Susannah who has a wonderful blog over at Avvinare invited us to join her as she explored the lesser known wine regions of Italy.  We were happy to oblige and in Susannah's preview post she let us know what we are all sharing and invited us to join her for twitter chat today at 11 AM ET following #ItalianFWT.

Here is what we will be discussing.  You aren't going to want to miss all this wonderful information on wines that can be served during this holiday season or given as gifts to those wine lovers on your list.

Posts from Fellow Italian Food, Wine and Travel Lovers Take a look below at all the great ideas for exploring Italy from the comfort of your own home. If you see this soon enough, please join our chat on Twitter at #ItalianFWT on Saturday, December 7th at 11:00am EST. We will be taking you all over Italy. We hope you can join.

It is going to be an interesting chat and I wish I could join in live, however we are having our annual Santa lunch with all my great nieces and nephews, the Teen and the Angel Face, so I will only be there in spirit.

Pairing with a recipe is not a requirement of this group but we eat dinner every night around this household so it is not normally a problem for me to make a meal that I think will pair well with the wine I have chosen.

When Susannah invited us to join her I went on a google search and asked for "Lesser Known Italian Wines".  I was directed to an article by VinePair titled Six Italian Wines Most People Don't Know.

One of the wines on this list was  Nero d'Avola. This is what the article had to say about this wine:

NERO D’AVOLA : This red grape is Sicily’s baby, the most important and widely planted grape on the island. Its name translates to mean “black of Avola,” and, like many names that go back to ancient times, the reason for calling the grape Nero d’Avola is pretty simple: it was discovered in Sicily near the town of Avola and it has very dark, almost black, skin. Therefore its name: “black of Avola.”

You’ve got to love the creativity. If you’re a fan of Syrah/Shiraz, Nero d’Avola should be your Italian jam, as the characteristics of the wines are incredibly similar. The wine is full bodied, yet it has a velvety characteristic, as well as medium tannins that make it powerful, but not overpowering. It’s a great wine to drink with meat.

I was sold.  I went onto and looked up Nero d'Avola and was given many choices.  I finally decided on this bottle of Cusumano that had ratings in the 90's and a wonderful price of less than $15.

The Island of Sicily is best known for it's Marsala wines.  This is a wine I used quite often for cooking but not for drinking.  I was happy to learn that Sicily also offers high quality, wonderful red and white wines, including this ancient grape Nero d'Avola.  I am a red wine lover so I ordered this wine and I am very happy that I did.

I decided to pair a Sicilian Style Stew with this bottle.  What an amazing pairing!  Traditionally this stew would be served over Polenta but I served ours over egg noodles and it was delicious.

#stew, #venison, #tomatoes,
Entrees, Venison, Stew
Yield: 4 servings

Sicilian Venison Stew

Sicilian Venison Stew

Tender chunks of venison, browned in butter and olive oil and then braised in a tomato base seasoned with Italian herbs and citrus zest served over egg noodles.
prep time: 30 Mcook time: 3 hourtotal time: 3 H & 30 M


  • 1 lb. venison stew meat
  • 2 t. olive oil
  • 1 T. butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • zest of 1/2 lemon 
  • zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 t. Italian herb seasoning
  • 1 T. tomato paste
  • 1/2 c. Nero d'Avolo wine
  • 1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2-3 c. beef broth.
  • 1/2 lb. egg noodles, cooked per package directions


How to cook Sicilian Venison Stew

  1. In a dutch oven over med high heat, melt the butter in the olive oil until foamy.
  2. Pat dry the stew meat and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Add to the dutch oven and sear until nicely browned on both sides.  Add the onions and garlic. Cook and stir until fragrant and onions are softened.  Stir in the zest from the lemon and orange, the bay leaf, the Italian Herbs and the tomato paste.  Cook for a minute or two then add the wine and continue to cook, scraping up an bits stuck to the bottom of the pan until the wine is nearly evaporated.  
  3. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and 2 cups of beef broth, bring to a boil.  Cover and place the dutch oven into a preheated 350* oven for 2 - 3 hrs. until the venison is fork tender.  Remove from the oven and stir in  up to another cup of beef broth until the sauce is to your desired consistency.
  4. Serve over egg noodles.
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Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. My dad was a hunter-fisherman and we had venison stew a lot when I was a child. Brings back memories! Thanks for a warming recipe and nice wine recommendation Wendy!

    1. We enjoy venison and fish around here too Lynn. My husband doesn't hunt any longer nor do any of our children but we have nieces and nephews that take good care of us.


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