- 4 whole venison shanks
- 2 tablespoons high-heat oil (avocado oil or duck fat)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 white onion, diced
- 2–4 sticks celery, diced
- 2–4 carrots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup white or red wine
- 2–4 cups stock (game, chicken, vegetable or beef)
About this recipe
The beauty of this recipe is how versatile it is. Don’t have red wine? Use white. No game stock? Use chicken or beef. You can use whatever root vegetables you have on hand. Just as long as you stick to a few basics, there is a lot of room for exploration. In addition to the mirepoix that cooks the entire time with the meat, you can add whole vegetables in the last 45 minutes of cooking to serve as a side.
Coat shanks in oil, season with salt and pepper and brown in a Dutch oven over medium heat. For bigger animals or multiple shanks, I sometimes brown them on a baking sheet in the oven under the broiler, turning as needed.
Once browned, remove shanks from pan and lightly sauté the mirepoix vegetables (onion, celery and carrots) for 3–5 minutes. Add garlic and bay leaves. Deglaze the pan with wine. Return the shanks, add stock, bring to a light boil, cover and place in a 300° oven.
Cook for 3–6 hours. Cooking times will vary depending on the age of the animal. Check the shanks periodically for the proper liquid level. You might have to add a little stock or water as it cooks. The liquid should not fully submerge the shanks, and not be higher than halfway.
The meat is done once it falls off the bone. Would ya’ look at that? All that connective tissue has melted away into a silky delight. Strain and reduce the liquid on the stovetop for a sauce. Serve with potatoes, polenta or whatever you have on hand.