Venison with Chocolate Sauce Recipe


Venison with Chocolate Sauce

A little while back I had some interesting chocolate sent to me by a company called Doisy and Dam. The flavours in the range are truly unique in the sense that each bar contains a superfood, meaning that the chocolate is a lot better for you than most. I began to think of ways in which I could use them in a recipe.


I had sample bars of 25g each so in many ways that limited what I had to play with. I came across venison steaks in one of my local supermarkets and cast my mind back to a recipe by Pierre Koffmann. In the superb book ‘Classic Koffmann’ there’s a recipe that pairs venison with a chocolate sauce, an intriguing combination if ever there was one.

Venison with Chocolate Sauce

This, however, is not Koffmann’s recipe. Merely an inspired version of it.  A simple arrangement of venison steaks with shredded savoy cabbage, bacon and the sauce. It’s easy to do and can be done in under 30 minutes, perfect for the late autumn/early winter.

Venison with Chocolate Sauce

An unusual ingredient listed below is a demi glace. This is an old school ingredient from French kitchens used to intensify sauces. Making it from scratch can be a real effort but luckily Waitrose sell good quality packs of ready-made demi glace to make life a lot easier.


Also, don’t worry if you haven’t got an ovenproof frying pan – simply transfer the venison steaks, thyme and garlic to a baking tray.

Venison with Chocolate SauceVenison with Chocolate SauceVenison with Chocolate SauceVenison with Chocolate SauceVenison with Chocolate Sauce

Serves 2


2 Venison Shoulder or Loin Steaks

1 Savoy Cabbage, outer leaves and tough stalks removed

200g Bacon Lardons, unsmoked

1 Sprig of Thyme

2 Garlic Cloves, lightly crushed

25g Unsalted Butter




4 Small Shallots (or two large), peeled and sliced

1 Garlic Clove, peeled and finely chopped

125ml Red Wine, such as Merlot

200ml Demi Glace

1 Sprig of Thyme

25g 74% Doisy and Dam Dark Chocolate

10g Unsalted Butter

Olive Oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.


  1. For the sauce, add a small amount of olive oil into a saucepan and heat over a medium high heat. Add in the shallots, thyme and garlic, frying to soften for around 5 minutes. Add in the the wine and bring to the boil.


  1. Reduce the wine by half until slightly thickened and then add the demi glace. Repeat the same process until you have a glossy sauce consistency. Pass the sauce through a sieve into a clean pan and keep warm.


  1. Heat a small amount of olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan. Season the venison steaks and lay them gently into the pan. Sear on all sides for around 3 minutes until browned.


  1. Add in the thyme, garlic and butter. Baste the steaks with the melted butter and venison juices before placing in the oven for 6 minutes.


  1. Allow the venison to rest in a warm place while you prepare the cabbage and finish the sauce. Shred the savoy cabbage and heat a frying pan over a high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil.


  1. Add the bacon lardons into the pan and fry until browned. Add in the cabbage and continue to fry until slightly wilted.


  1. To finish the sauce, break up the bar of chocolate and heat the sauce to just below simmering point. Whisk in the chocolate followed by the butter for a rich, shiny finish. Taste and adjust the seasoning.


  1. Serve the venison on a large mound of cabbage and bacon with the sauce drizzled over the top.


This recipe really impressed me. The venison has a subtle flavour yet strong enough to handle a robust sauce such as this. The chocolate had hints of vanilla which made for a rich, complex sauce – perfect with the slightly gamey venison.


Ultimately, the dish is easy to put together and perfect for this time of year. I really hope you enjoy making it and seek out more of Doisy and Dam’s superb chocolate products.


    • I do cook it occasionally when it’s available. The pairing with the chocolate is unusual but it works so well, I would never have guessed it! Glad you enjoyed reading my post!

  1. Who would have thought, chocolate and venison? I will definitely try this, its hunting season right now and I like trying new things

    • Hi Pauline, I know, right? Venison and chocolate sounds crazy and that it shouldn’t go together but somehow this just works. The vanilla notes in the chocolate really give a unique flavour too. I really hope you try this and when you do please send me photos of the results – happy hunting!

  2. I wish I wasn’t allergic to chocolate- this looks fantastic! My husband is a big hunter but I’ve never been a big fan of venison. I wish I had thought to add chocolate to it before it was too late!!! Ir you have any other venison recipes I’d love to see them… I keep trying to like it!

    • Hi Elizabeth – that’s a shame on the chocolate front! I have other recipes on here for Venison but I’ll think of a few more to try and get a winner for you!

    • Thank you so much Carly! I’m sure yours will look every bit as good as this – possibly even better! It’s a simple dish so well worth giving it a go!

  3. This sounds amazing! I have a friend who hunts and I’m going to put me on his list for venison steaks now that season is upon us. The pairing sounds so interesting.
    My Best Friend Adeline

  4. This sounds delicious! I love trying new flavors, a traditional Mexican dish called Mole is a sauce made from chocolate and usually made with chicken.

    • Ah yes, Mole! I’m sure that I tried making that before and it really works so well with the spice and adds richness to the sauce, I’ll have to recreate that again! Love Mexican food.

  5. These sound great and very keto friendly. I can’t wait for hubby to get his first deer now. Thanks for the great recipe, I am looking forward to trying it.

  6. Hey Chris,
    Just stumbled upon your recipe while I was searching for Ramsay’s venison- red wine and chocolate sauce recipe. I am impressed with the way you put everything together. I too am a lover of venison and over the years I’ve experimented with using all parts of the deer, from offal to tenderloin.
    I have a similar recipe to this, but instead of using chocolate, I use juniper berries from our backyard juniper ceder on the family farm. Not the same as the original juniper berries one would use for wild game, and especially, the making of gin, the juniper ceder berries do the trick. It gives a slight sweetness to the otherwise bitter turpentine flavors. A unique yet perfect accompaniment to all wild game, including venison.
    Thanks for the recipe, and I hope that you can experiment with the juniper berries next time you cook some venison.

    • Hey AJ,
      I’m so pleased to hear that you’re a fellow lover of venison, it is truly a brilliant meat. The idea of using juniper is brilliant and something that I would love to try. Like you, we are also big fans of gin here at Artisan Traveller. I shall endeavour to find the particular cedar berries and hopefully make a recipe using those.

      Thank you


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