Venison Shank Casserole - with red wine and juniper berries

Picture of Venison Shank Casserole - with red wine and juniper berries
A gorgeously rich casserole with with mushrooms, carrots, juniper berries, loads of wine and a subtle gamey taste.

Our local market has a great venison stall which stocks these fantastic venison shanks as well as venison steaks and several varieties of venison sausages. Two of the venison shanks were plenty for four of us, despite my doubts. If you can't get hold of venison, lamb would work equally well for this casserole.

Difficulty: easy
Preperation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours
Cost: £3 per head (venison shanks were £3 each, I used 2, a cheap bottle of red and some vegetables)

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Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
For this delicious meal to feed 4, you will need:
  • 2 venison shanks (or lamb shanks if you prefer)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 100g bacon (I used smoked)
  • 1/2 a swede (aka rutabaga) (or a few sticks of celery)
  • 3 large carrots
  • a few handfulls of mushrooms
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 500ml red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8-10 juniper berries
  • a good grind of black pepper
  • 1 beef oxo cube
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
You'll also need an oven proof pan with a tight fitting lid and some potatoes to serve as mash with the casserole.

Step 2: Brown the meat

Picture of Brown the meat
Pre-heat your oven to 200C (390F)

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large oven proof pan on a high heat.

Add the two venison shanks and fry, turning occasionally to brown all sides.

Step 3: Onions and bacon

Picture of Onions and bacon
Lower the heat to medium then add the bacon.

Skin then chop the onions into wedges. Add to the pan and soften in the bacon fat. Mmmmmm

Step 4: Carrots, swede and mushrooms

Picture of Carrots, swede and mushrooms
Slice the skin off the swede then cut the carrots and swede into large chunks. Quarter the larger mushrooms and leave the smaller ones whole.

Add the whole lot to the pan, stir and then leave to sweat for a short while.

Z..5 years ago
This is one of my two favourite meals!! (Cassoulet is the other). I use lamb shanks.

I was using these when they were being sold as pet food!! Now restaurants have discovered this dish, and the damn things have gone way up in price!

The gravy mixing with the creamy mash.... the meat dropping off the bone..., getting at the marrow with a skewer......

(Rushes to kitchen, by er,....shanks' pony....).

ghostrider2 Z..4 years ago
just go out and shoot your own deer.  the gun and license pay for themselves after a few years of hunting, and your freezer is stocked to breaking point with delicious meat.
Z.. ghostrider24 years ago
Weeeeell, I'm in Australia, and I'm in,....very mature years.

A gun-toting Grandma around these parts will get arrested-under the Mental Health Act!! Particularly if I tell them I'm hunting for deer! I'll be locked away for the rest of !!!!

(I know your comment was meant in general ghostrider2,-I remember hunting wood pigeon in England. They were tasty little fellas,-and cost a fortune to buy).

kill-a-watt Z..4 years ago
I've tasted clay pigeons, they're no good no matter how you prepare them.
Z.. kill-a-watt4 years ago
HA!! Thanks for the laugh kill-a-watt!!
Jayefuu (author)  Z..4 years ago
Did someone mention woodpigeon?
Z.. Jayefuu4 years ago

Aaaaaahhhhh!! Yum!!  ( I haven't had breakfast yet! It's morning here).

Thanks for that Jayefuu! I'll take a look.


ghostrider2 Z..4 years ago
thats the beauty of america.  austrailia has an age limit on guns?
Z.. ghostrider24 years ago
No. No age limit,... just no deer!

Now kangaroo.......? ! I would never hunt any threatened species, (even if I could, but I'm in the central Metro area!!), but roo are in plaque proportions. ' Roo is excellent meat, not gamey at all!
Jayefuu (author)  Z..5 years ago
The only thing I regret about this dish is having to use 2/3 of a bottle of wine. Which is quickly swung by the fact that I get to drink the rest. :p
Z.. Jayefuu5 years ago
I am a great believer in using wine in cooking..., because it can be shared between the pot and the pot filler!!

Btw: I don't subscribe to the theory that 'if you wouldn't drink it, don't add it to your cooking'. A casserole et al, can succeed nicely on a cheaper wine-though you need to avoid the ones that have toenails floating in them!!

Good cooking!!
LoganMackey4 years ago
This is a instructable? Shouldn't this be on a food or cooking website?

Jayefuu (author)  LoganMackey4 years ago
The same could be said of your hobo soup. There's a fair bit more to this though.
Fred826645 years ago
that looks so good my moth is watering just looking at the pics and reading the lible * ***note to self do not read food libel when on empty belly *****   
Nice. This looks fantastic.

Curses, now I have to go kill a deer.
Jayefuu (author)  RavingMadStudios5 years ago
Heh. Thanks for the sub. ^.^
rocklocker5 years ago
Is a "Swede" a turnip or a rutabaga?
Jayefuu (author)  rocklocker5 years ago
Wikipedia says rutabega :D I'll add it in brackets to the step. Thanks
hooloovoo335 years ago
This would probably work well with lamb too, yah?
Looks delicious!
Jayefuu (author)  hooloovoo335 years ago
Thanks. Yes definitely good with lamb shanks too!
red-king5 years ago
 my god... this looks absolutely delicious...
Hiyadudez5 years ago
Ooohhh... that looks nice and yummy :-)

Jayefuu (author)  Hiyadudez5 years ago
It was! I'm still full.