Capriolo in Salmì con Polenta Taragna – Venison Salmì/Stew (Roe Deer) with Polenta Taragna


Winter season to me means also juicy and tasty game recipes 🙂

And roe deer is one of my favorites.

Let me tell you soon that to prepare a real salmì you have to leave the meat in a marinade for at least 24 hours, or even more, also 3-4 days. But this is needed if you can get a roe deer that has been hunted in the wild (that’s the best).

Unfortunately this time I didn’t manage to find any hunter 🙂 so I bought it in a supermarket, and the ones sold in supermarkets we know they are that kind of “half wild” animals, they are not so tough and they have a less strong taste, so I decided to cook it without marinade, and it was really good and tender, trust me 🙂

Next to it you can prepare a normal polenta, but in this case I decided to make a “polenta taragna“, adding some mountain cheese to it and enhancing even better the flavor, and the calories too 😀 this is a real fulfilling mountain dish!

With an 800 g package I prepared 5 meals: a lunch for 3 people, a nice dinner for myself using the “round” cut and the day after a very good lunch preparing a pasta using the remaining stew as a sauce 🙂

Let’s see how to make it.

INGREDIENTS (4 people):

  • 800-1000 g of roe deer meat
  • 500 ml of a good full-bodied red wine
  • 1 onion
  • one carrot
  • 1-2 ribs of celery
  • 50-60 g butter
  • 4-5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
  • spices: rosemary, sage, bay leaves, juniper berries, a couple of cloves
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt

For the “polenta taragna“:

  • 150 g of cornmeal
  • 100 g of buckwheat flour
  • 120 g of a good mountain cheese (Casera, Fontina DOP, Gruyère, Bitto, Branzi, Bergkäse, Comté, Beaufort, ecc.)
  • 1,250 l water
  • salt

If you decided to make a marinade with the red wine and the vegetables/spices, drain the meet, cut it, sear/brown it, and then add it to a casserole/cocotte in which you have meanwhile heated butter, oil, new vegetables and then cover with the wine of the marinade. If you didn’t, then follow the next steps.

  1. Wash the meat, remove carefully the fat and then cut it into pieces of about 2-3 cm.
  2. Cut the onion, carrot and celery into small pieces, then take a cocotte/casserole and heat the extra virgin olive oil with the butter, and add the vegetables. Set the heat on medium/low and let them to get softer.
  3. Meanwhile take a large pan, heat  little drizzle of oil and then put the meat to brown. Do it at medium/high heat.
  4. Once the meat has browned and the vegetables are soft, put the meat in the cocotte, also the juices that came out while searing. Then add the wine and set the heat on medium/high until the alcohol has gone. You can also add a spoon of triple tomato concentrate if you would like it.
  5. Then season with pepper and salt, and add the spices (juniper berries have to be crushed): put them inside a kitchen gauze, so you can remove them easily later.
  6. Set the heat on very low, cover the cocotte and let it simmer for at least 3 hours long. If you use a real wild roe deer probably you’ll need 3 and half/4 hours to make the meat tender, in my case 3 hours and something more was enough.
  7. After about the first 1 hour and half remove the spices, and one hour before being ready, so after about 2 hours, start to prepare the polenta (to make a good polenta you need at least 50/60 minutes): in a high pot (the best if you have the traditional “paiolo”, but you can make it also without that) heat the water with a pinch of salt, one full teaspoon about, then when it starts boiling add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and then add the 2 flours previously mixed together, and while you add the flours keep whisking very fast, otherwise you will have unpleasant clumps in the polenta. When you added all the flour and there are no clots, take a big wooden spoon and use it to stir the polenta regularly, every 4/5 minutes. Set the heat on medium/medium-low. It’s possible that you have to add some little hot water, sometimes.
  8. When the meat is ready, remove it from the sauce and then with an immersion blender reduce the sauce to a cream, then put back the meat to the sauce and cook it for a while until the sauce has the right texture, not liquid but a bit thicker.
  9. Than cut the cheese into small cubes and mix it in the polenta, until is melted (for a real polenta taragna you should add also some butter, better if mountain butter).
  10. When everything is perfect, serve it in the dishes and enjoy it with a good red wine, absolutely 😉



7 Comments Add yours

    1. Grazie Deborah 🙂


  1. Jasmine S. says:

    A beautiful, hearty dish! I’ve never had deer, but have always wanted to try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jasmine 🙂 then this a good season to try it! 🙂


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