Okay, this isn’t actually an emergency. But it IS one of those things that needs to be said early in the hunting season. Read on.
As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Hank Shaw, celebrated author of several outstanding wild game cookbooks and my go-to source for anything related to cooking wild game, foraging or fishing. About a year ago, as I was leafing through my copy of Hank’s cookbook, Buck, Buck, Moose (available at Amazon, walmart.com, and Barnes & Noble) I stumbled upon several recipes that really piqued my interest. Unfortunately, the recipes required venison shanks. It never really dawned on me that I wouldn’t have the correct cut of meat needed to prepare the feast. I’ve always been a huge proponent of using every inch of any animal that my Deerslayer harvests. And yet I stood in front of an open freezer looking for a key ingredient that I didn’t have.
Thus the warning! Don’t toss those shanks away. If you know that a delicious meal can be had, why would you?
These are the fore and hind shanks from one animal. They provided 2 meals.
The recipe that I decided to try was Hank’s Braised Venison Shanks with Garlic.
You can find his recipe and directions here.
- The recipe calls for the shanks to be browned on all sides (except the shin side) in a container large enough to hold them. That was tricky. The only thing I could find large enough to accommodate the shanks was my turkey roaster. I have to admit that it didn’t work great because it doesn’t conduct heat like cast iron but it got the job done.
Because of the width of my turkey roaster, I doubled the ingredients needed for the braising liquid. It turned out for the best because the braising liquid is then used to make a sauce that is superb! There was sauce left over. You’ll want to use it on leftovers, pasta, anything.
Everything fits and it’s ready for the lid.
The meat is on a cookie sheet ready to be basted with the sauce I prepared and glazed in the oven for some more time to optimize the roasted garlic flavor.
The masterful photographs that accompany Mr. Shaw’s recipes are beyond compare. When I tried to serve my shanks “on the bone”, they rolled off the plate and made a mess. I cut the meat from the bones, which didn’t make as beautiful a presentation, but saved my tablecloth… and rug and clothing.
An outstanding dish…. loved by all.
Save the leftovers. I have another recipe for them!