Italian Recipe for a Warming Venison (Lamb or Beef) Stew



Spezzatino di Cervo e Nocino”

Banish the January blues with this comforting Italian casserole.

This recipe is taken from our ‘Autumn and Winter Cooking that is Just so Italian‘ recipe book.

Nocino” is a walnut liqueur made by steeping green walnuts in alcohol. It has a slightly bittersweet flavour which melts perfectly into the venison (lamb or beef).  It also makes an excellent after dinner drink, and a great summer dessert when poured over ice-cream.

To view a PDF of the recipe, click here.

Ingredients which are available from our Just so Italian online shop are marked with a ‘*‘ and have a web link.

Serves 4


650g shoulder of venison (lamb or beef) cut into 2cm cubes
2 tbsp plain white flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil*
25g butter
1 tbsp tomato purée
100ml nocino liqueur*
200ml beef stock
1 sprig rosemary, stalk discarded and finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 carrot, cut into 1cm cubes
1 onion, cut into 1cm cubes
2 sticks of celery, cut into 1cm cubes
Salt and pepper

Delicious with a bottle of Barbera d’Asti ‘Ceppi Storici’* to serve!


1, Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Toss the venison in the flour until it is well coated. Put the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan and put over the heat. Once the butter has melted, add the venison and fry over a high heat, stirring now and then, until all the meat is well browned. Cook the venison in batches if there isn’t enough room in the pan to stir it easily. Transfer the venison to a casserole dish and leave to one side.

2. Add the tomato purée and nocino to the pan and bring to the boil, scraping up all the little bits that have stuck to the bottom. Pour this into the casserole dish and add the stock, rosemary, bay leaf, garlic and carrot, onion and celery. Add a little salt and pepper and stir everything well. Cover with a lid and bake for at least 1-1½hours or until the meat is really tender. Serve with mashed potato or polenta.