Rich Venison Ragu with Pappardelle Pasta

 Watch Sophie prepare this dish.

Recipe by Sophie Wright

We all love a winter warmer, and what shouts comfort more that braised meat in a rich sauce with heaps of silky smooth pasta! This dish is not labour intensive at all, however good things come to those who wait so the cooking time is a little longer than one might like...but trust me, it's worth it. Throw the dish in the oven and head off for a nice country walk, when you're back the work will be minimal and in no time you have the most delicious, luxurious comforting meal!

Venison Ragout and papardelle


Place a large casserole pan on the stove an add 2 tbsp vegetable oil. When the pan is hot, add the Venison either diced OR the whole piece if this is what you are using. Sear the meat on all sides until well browned. Add in the bay leaves and crushed juniper along with the wine and stock. Cover tightly and place into a preheated oven for 3.5hours.
Make the Ragu base by gently frying the onion, carrot, leek and celery together with a little oil until soft and translucent. This should take around 8-10 minutes. Add in the garlic, sage and rosemary, season and leave to one side.
Once the Venison has had around 3.5hours in the oven it should be lovely and tender. Remove it from the stock (reserving the stock for later) and shred the meat up into chunky pieces. Add the shredded meat to the softened vegetables and turn on the heat. Allow the meat to coat the vegetables then add in the flour and the tomato puree. Stir well; making sure everything is well coated.
Now add in the cooking liquor from the Venison, turn down the heat and allow it to braise for a further 20-30 minutes.
Once cooked, boil a large pan of water for the pasta, once boiling cook as per instructed on the packet.
Mix the cooked pasta into the Venison Ragu, along with a little of the pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce, stir in the chopped parsley and serve with the shaved parmesan.

Serves 4

Preparation: 1 hour

Time to cook: 3 hours

Rich Venison Ragu with Pappardelle Pasta



600g Venison, leg or shoulder, diced 

500mls red wine

500mls rich stock, preferably game

2 bay leaves

5 gently crushed juniper berries

2 tbsp vegetable oil


2 medium white onions, finely diced
1 large carrot cut into very fine dice
1 leek, white only cut into very fine dice
2 sticks of celery cut into very fine dice
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
1 tbsp chopped sage leaves
3 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
500g Pappardelle fresh pasta
Salt and pepper
Shaved parmesan to serve

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