Food 2018 – Recipes (Venison Shanks)

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Wednesday, 11th April 2018 – Recipes (Venison Shank Casserole)

Venison Shank Casserole

This is wonderful, brilliantly dense and rich and makes a superb dinner option on a miserable winter day. I recommend tweaking the recipe somewhat. We got 6 portions out of it by cooking just two shanks in the amount of wine and port listed here (and in fact left all the other ingredients at the quantities stated), and added a hefty proportion of field mushrooms – you could use wild mushrooms if you can get them – at the stage where the meat went back in to warm. You will know it’s properly cooked when the meat falls off the bone with just the tap of a spoon.

Preparation time: overnight
Cooking time: over 2 hours
Serves: Serves 6


  • 6 venison shanks, from the front legs (I use just 2)
  • 350ml oz red wine
  • 150ml oz port
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 rashers smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 2 litres pints chicken or beef stock
  • 200g cooked chestnuts
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced


  1. Place the venison into a bowl with the red wine, port, thyme, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns and juniper berries, stir well then leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1.Remove the venison from the bowl, reserving the marinade, and dry with kitchen paper.
  3. Heat a heavy-based ovenproof casserole pan until hot, add the oil then the venison and brown the meat on all sides over a high heat. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add the bacon and vegetables to the pan, along with a pinch of salt, and cook until the vegetables are lightly browned.
  5. Add the reserved marinade, cook until it has reduced by two-thirds then place the venison back in the pan, add the stock and bring to a simmer.
  6. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to the same size as the top of the pan and place on top of the casserole.
  7. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender. Allow the casserole to cool, then remove the venison shanks and set them aside.
  8. Sieve the cooking juices then return them to the pan and reduce by at least a half or until the sauce is rich and dark. Set the pan aside until ready to finish.
  9. To finish the casserole, return the venison shanks to the pan, add the chestnuts (and if you’re using them, mushrooms) and gently warm through.

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