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42 responses to “Rainy Days and Braised Shanks”

  1. Carolina Rig

    I was hoping you’d offer up your rendition of a shank braise. I’ve got a few matching sets ready for the treatment. Holly’s pic of the marrow looks inviting….any report on how that tasted???

  2. Kevin

    Holy smack – what an improvement! How slick! How polished!

    I’ve had mixed success with braising game shanks. Probably just didn’t give them enough time. I now have a 5 hour minimum rule for anything that needs long and slow.

  3. J.R. Young

    For whatever reason I never really considered doing venison or elk shanks. I’ll be putting that on my list if I bag one or both this fall.

    On a side note I braised a pig roast from a sow I shot this summer. I was light on fat despite adding some slab bacon, but once again your estratto came in handy. That stuff is awesome for braising, too bad I’m running low.

  4. Tovar Cerulli

    Wow, that sounds delicious!

    “Hank’s Shanks”…or not, given your Achilles reference.

    Congrats again to Holly on her first deer. And thanks for the recipe. I’ll keep it in mind if the gods of the hunt smile on me next fall.

  5. Stephanie - Wasabimon

    Would kill for venison shanks! Alas, all we have are lamb, goat and alpaca.

  6. Russell Kofoed

    Sounds really good. We are running low on venison as we did not get a deer this year. Time to get serious about steelheading I guess.

  7. Brady

    Too bad you posted this after deer season ended here in Virginia. I used all of mine (32) to make several batches of Pho’ this past year. I was sure it was the best use for a shank until now. I guess the verdict will be out till next bow season…

    I am not sure about the nettles on the left side of the nation but here we have stinging nettles which are excellent in a pesto or cremed like spinach with nutmeg. I picked up a small book on the uses of nettles that covers everthing from rennett, to wine, to intimate marital aid (seriously) let me know if you’re in need.

  8. Brady

    They are like rats here in VA. If you shoot’em small like I like to, you need to get some serious numbers if you want to put any meat away. Some guys like to talk about the points on the rack, I’d rather talk about the two young does I took in one evening, both with headshots. Now that was a sweet buthering job. I like to french out the racks and it’s a lot easier to do without a .300 WSM hole in the rib cage.
    I’ll check on the book and get back with you.

  9. Josh

    Great post, Hank, and happy to get all welted up picking nettles for you.

    I’ve tried mine, and they are a tad bland, too. Another nettle-nerd headed out with me last Saturday, and she put it in a lasagna, I believe. We’ll be making a duck egg-&-nettle quiche in a couple of days here.

    Next batch, I’m trying something with the nettle tea.

    Brady, I’m also very interested in that nettle book, and would love to know the title!

  10. Russell

    Here here to shanks!
    Did two Jamaican Curry Goat Shanks last night, came out amazingly. Goat is great but most parts need a braise, and shanks are top of that list.

  11. matt

    Fantastic stuff. Like you I live for braising on cold days. Course, mine has never consisted of a venison shank!

  12. Cork Graham

    Hank —

    I can’t tell you how much I feel like for kickin’ myself for all those years, I let my buddy that I hunt the San Mateo County coast with keep throwing his deer shanks, and mine, to his deer hounds. Yes, they earned them, but this family’s dogs got enough from other great fresh scraps every Half Moon Bay area deer season for the last 180 years.

    Once I modified a Greek recipe from Mykonos, on Polk in San Francisco (they use lamb shanks–great recipe I should post on my blog that includes vinegar, mint leaves, tomatoes and onions), I no longer put my venison shanks in the dog bowl.

    BTW ShotShow was great–reconnected with a number of manufacturers (Beretta, Aya, Arietta [weird speaking Spanish Spanish and aspirating those Zs into Tha-thas, instead of S]) and built some great relationships with new companies: will you be healed in time to try these new Trulock Turkey chokes I have to field trial and review (Spring turkey opener’s end of March)?

    Gotta take more time for ShotShow next year: but it really conflicts with Safari Club Int’l in Reno. Splits up writers too much.


  13. suburbanbushwacker

    Hey hank

    Really looking forward to your Nettle investigations.

    my aunt and dad have both reported a vast improvement in the strength of their finger nails since they have been drinking a daily nettle tea.


  14. Annie

    We processed about 20 lbs of venison today for sausage and got so sick of the tedium of cutting all the connective tissue away from the shanks, so I told Charlie to stop and I’d make the shanks for dinner tonight. We made a sort of bastardized version of this based on what we had available. It was un-freaking believable. So delicious. I (and about 8 of my neighbors) were so happily stuffed on this wonderful recipe. It was perfect timing that you posted this! We benefited immesely. Thanks!

  15. Dana McCauley

    We’ve been on a bit of a shank fest lately ourselves. Over the holidays I made lamb shanks with garam masala that were pretty delish and then this last week my hubby made some that were braised with red wine. He served them with a blue cheese infused barley pilaf and roasted fennel. So yummy!

  16. Sean Fitz

    Made the recipe yesterday with a batch of Canada goose legs and did the slow cooking in the crock pot. Man, it was awesome. Made a convert of my buddy who was over for dinner–he’s typically a breast-out only goose hunter and now says he “pulling legs”!

  17. A Winter Adventure: Braised Lamb Shanks « Vinicultured: A Wine Blog

    […] dining experience, however, does not cooking expertise make.  Thus, I looked at a few recipes, here, here, and here, blending them all together and hoping for the […]

  18. Recipes, death wishes, and hippie hunting ethics | A Mindful Carnivore

    […] Two months ago, I got lucky in rifle season and thought back to one of Hank’s posts about braising venison shanks. Instead of trimming and grinding all those small, tough muscles, I decided to freeze the […]

  19. Brigid

    I’m looking at what is labeled a venison shank in my freezer and it looks like the TOP of the leg, not the calf. Did they mis-label it?

  20. Tom Dickson

    The Portugese venison shanks are superb. Thank you, Hank. I think it’s the cinnamon and the molasses.

  21. Recipes, death wishes, and hippie hunting ethics | A Mindful Carnivore (sandbox)

    […] Two months ago, I got lucky in rifle season and thought back to one of Hank’s posts about braising venison shanks. Instead of trimming and grinding all those small, tough muscles, I decided to freeze the […]

  22. Kris

    hank, your pic looks frenched. Any technique to this? french from bottom up?

  23. Christian

    Hank, how well do the whole shanks freeze? Any problem with freezing shanks for awhile before braising them? I’ve always been frustrated trying to separate the shank meat from the “compartments” of silver skin on small to mid size deer.

  24. John Carroll

    I was just introduced to this site by a friend. A few weeks back I had asked the butcher to save the shanks from my deer rather than grind with sausage meat. I can’t wait to try this. than you.

  25. impromptu high-protein lunch « Littlebitesoflife's Blog

    […] tonight is some leftover venison shank I made last night with this delicious Portuguese recipe.  I’m planning to take out the leftover meat, and clean off some of the fat and unappetizing […]

  26. Dan

    Thanks for this awesome recipe, We enjoyed this one last night with gnocchi in the sauce. I overdid the molasses, but added the dregs of coffee (steeping all day in the french press) to bring back the sweetness and to make up for not having any stock.

  27. Shanks are not contraband! |

    […] Shaw has some excellent shank recipes over Hunter Angler Garder Cook site. We have used his Portugese Style Shank Recipe  as a foundation for improvised recipes  and found them to be a big hit at the table. At this […]

  28. John

    Just tried this recipe with some medium sized doe shanks and they were fantastic. I’ve always loved lamb shanks and these tasted very much like the best I’ve ever had. They took exactly four hours in the oven to get tender. I served them with wild rice and mixed greens (kale, mustard, and turnip) and they were a huge hit. It’s great finally finding something to do with the shanks other than just grinding them up (and having them bog down my grinder in the process). Thanks for the recipe. By the way, I’m on my third copy of your book. I’ve loaned it out twice and have never been able to get it back, which is either an indication of the high quality of the book or the low quality of my friends.

  29. Ross

    Just made this with a single shank from a Colorado mule deer buck. Fed three with sides of mashers and kale and lots of wine. In this case, 8 hours with a little extra water seemed to be ideal: 6 hours at 300 degrees two days ago, then a day in the fridge while I figured out who to invite, then a 2-hour reheat at 275 degrees this evening.

    It’s ridiculously good, and I’ve got 3 cups of the blended sauce to pour over a more traditional roast, or just to sop up with good bread. I like backstraps like everyone else, but I’ve begun to covet the shanks and give them the white glove treatment when butchering. There’s a little bit of magic as the tendons and silver skin disappear into a moist, delicious chunk of meat. Warning: this is a gateway recipe – you’ll start to reconsider your venison cut hierarchy, and you may just have a lot less burger and chili to contend with when the next hunting season comes around.

  30. Gillian mason

    I’m looking for a venison hock terrine recipe do you think if I cooked them as above I could press the meat afterwards or would it be to dry without the sauce ?

  31. JS

    Just made this recipe tonight and it was AWESOME. Thanks so much for posting. I’ll be making this again when I get my hands on some more shanks next fall.

  32. Kirk Edwards

    Thanks Hank for the shanks! Or shanks for the memories!

    My girlfriend and I loved this recipe so much that I saved my last whitetail shanks of the season to have for our Valentines Day dinner. I happened to see some very ripe plantains in the local grocery when I was shopping. A light bulb appeared above my head and I thought, these would be a great compliment with this dish. I used to live in Key West a long time ago and I remember how well ripe plantains went with a rich cuban meal. And I was right. The plantain slices slowly pan fried in a little butter, crisp on both sides and soft in the middle, were wonderful with these shanks. I highly recommend the combination to anyone who can come by the plantains when they are going to try this wonderful recipe. We did oven roasted beets and steamed beet greens with it last time and they were good too. But I liked the plantains better, with mashed potatoes and asparagus. Any way you do it, this will remain my go to way to cook venison shanks from now on. Thanks Hank.

  33. Rod Hassler

    Quick question: I’m making these now, but my shanks are a bit big for the dutch oven. How much of the meat needs to be covered by the liquid while cooking?

  34. Paul

    After an absence from shooting for 15 years I have just returned to the sport my Father taught me from the age of 6.
    I currently have a Roe doe in the freezer and I have kept the shanks, I will try your brazed shanks and let you all know how they come out

  35. Craig guy

    hank, that was truly an amazing recipe! I’m in Australia, and I made it with some sambar shanks I shot a few weeks back. It was spot on! Had it with roast fennel and dirty rice. I ll be talking about it for weeks, and I reckon our guests tonight will be too! Made me look like a chef ? . I’m not great with the computer, but if you can get me details on how to get your recipe book, it’s as good as sold! Thanks again!

  36. Ron

    Welll I’ve been eyeing this since before deer season this year. It looks so good!

    I have two rear shanks in the oven now. It makes the whole house smell wonderful. We’re just going to have some of my wife’s famous mashed potatoes for the side. I can’t wait to tase this dish. Now if I remember to come back and post how I like it. I’m sure it will be great though.

  37. Ron

    Wow. I just cooked this exact recipe. It was really amazing! Truly one of the best venison meals I’ve ever eaten…and I’ve eaten quite a few.

    I can’t believe I’ve killed/eaten at least 12 deer in my life and this is the first time I’ve tried the shanks. Due to my ignorance of this, I’ve wasted 9 deer worth of shanks by grinding them up into burger, cooking as stew meat or making jerky.

    My daughter and wife loved it so much they want to have it for our yearly Christmas meal!

    I’ll never ever ever grind or cut up another shank.

    If you haven’t tried this, you need to!

    Thanks Hank!

  38. Jason Hedlund

    Never again will I be grinding shanks into burger. This recipe was phenomenal. I took mine out at exactly 3 hours, and it was perfect! What wonderful and unique flavors! Just a faint glow of heat from 1 dried pepper; I’ll be adding a 2nd next time.

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