Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine the flour, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a shallow dish.
On the stove top, in a large ovenproof dutch oven or roasting pan (cast iron works well), heat the oil and the butter over medium heat, making sure not to burn the butter.
Prepare the venison in batches. Dredge about a quarter of the venison in the flour mixture and add to the dutch oven. Brown well on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from dutch oven and set aside.
Continue to dredge and cook the remaining venison. (add more oil to the pan if needed). Remove from dutch oven and set aside.
Add the onions, parsnips, carrots, mushrooms, bay leaves, anise, and thyme to the same pot on medium heat.
Sauté until the onions are slightly translucent and the vegetables are lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Remove from the dutch oven and set aside, loosely covered.
Return meat to the dutch oven with all its juices.
Add the wine, stocks and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Cover and roast in preheated oven for about 1 1/2 hours.
Add the browned vegetable mixture and the apricots to the roasted meat, stir gently, and add a little more stock if necessary (don’t add more wine).
Return to the oven and continue roasting for another 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Serve the stew in a large covered dish, garnished with a bunch of fresh thyme. Serve with crusty bread.