Vietnamese Lemongrass Venison

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This is a wild game adaptation of one of my favorite dishes from childhood. The bright, citrusy notes of the lemongrass liven up the earthiness of the braised venison and carrots. Make this the night before you want to eat it, and come home to a cozy and comforting dish to warm up with after a long day in the field or at work.


Vietnamese Lemongrass Venison

Prep time: 30 minutes active, 4 hours total

Serves: 4-6




1 stalk lemongrass, bruised with the back of a heavy knife, cut into 2” chunks

3 tbsp fish sauce

1.5 tsp ground five spice

3 tbsp grated fresh ginger

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 bay leaves


2 lb venison stew meat, cubed into 1.5 inch pieces

3 cups stock (venison, waterfowl or similar)

1 large yellow onion, diced

3 whole star anise

1 pint canned tomatoes

2 large carrots, cut into ¾” rings ( approx 3 cups)

Thai basil to garnish

vietnamese lemongrass venison recipe.jpg


1). Combine all ingredients for marinade and marinate venison for a hour minimum or overnight.

2.) Heat large saute pan to high heat. Drain venison from marinade, saving lemongrass and bay leaves. Add oil to pan and, working in batches, brown the pieces of venison evenly, about 90 seconds per side. Remove from pan and set aside.

3). Turn heat down to medium/medium low and add onions, cook until fragrant and tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and star anise and stir, simmering until reduced by half. Add venison and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

4.) Add stock, reserved lemongrass, and bay leaf, and stir. Cover and simmer for 2 hours until venison is almost done (tender to the touch but not tearing apart readily.)

5.) Add carrots and cover, simmering until carrots and venison are tender, approximately 45-60 more minutes. Season with salt and additional fish sauce if needed. Serve over rice, garnish with Thai basil.

Alternate slow-cooker method:

Follow steps 1-3 as indicated above. Transfer to slow cooker, add stock, and stir. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours. Add carrots, turn heat to high and re-cover. Cook for an additional hour.