Slow Cooker Venison Stew Recipe

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This Slow Cooker Venison Stew Recipe is made with tomato sauce, carrots and potatoes, and doesn't use any vinegar.
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In "Original Local," author Heid E. Erdrich delves into 135 home-tested recipes paired with stories from tribal activists, food researchers, families and chefs.
6-8 servings SERVINGS


  • 2 pounds venison roast, cut into half-inch cubes
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar tomato or spaghetti sauce, any flavor
  • 2 potatoes, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped



Local food has attracted a lot of attention in recent years, but the concept is not new. In Original Local (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2013), author Heid E. Erdrich delves into the recipes of indigenous people who have always made the most of nature’s gifts. This recipe for Slow Cooker Venison Stew is from Section 3, “Fish and Game.”

You can purchase this book from the GRIT store: Original Local.

Slow Cooker Venison Stew Recipe

My brother Ralph’s secret ingredient is “not vinegar” and “not tomato
paste.” He tells me he has only one recipe: “Cook it on high. Don’t let it burn.” Oddly,
he makes this stew in a slow cooker on low heat over the course of hours. I ask
him, what about seasoning? It’s in the tomato sauce, he assures me. I am baffled. I
have read a lot of venison recipes, and there’s a good deal of fuss with vinegar and
brine. Ralph explains that as a relic of the past, when cooks used vinegar to remove
“gamey” flavors. These days, he says, we all have sweet, fat, corn-fed deer.