Introduction: 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)

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.

Step 5: In With the Rest

Picture of In With the Rest

After 10 minutes, squash the juniper berries with the side of a knife and add them to the pan with the beef stock cube, 2 bay leaves, finely chopped garlic and 500ml of red wine.

Bring to a simmer, leave for 5 minutes then place in the oven at 200C for 3 hours. (Yes, 3 hours!)

You may want to add a splash of water after an hour and a half if it needs it. It'll depend on how tight the lid of your pan is. The handle on mine's broken so steam escapes through the lid. I topped it up with 200ml of water.

Step 6: Serve

Picture of Serve

After the three hours are up the deer should be nice and tender. Slice some from the bone for two plates and leave the remaining meat on the bone for the other two.

Enjoy! We sure did.

Comments

Lorddrake (author)2016-05-31

sounds awesome. can't wait for hunting season to get here :)

Z.. (author)2010-01-25

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 (author)Z..2010-04-09

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.. (author)ghostrider22010-04-09

Weeeeell, I'm in Australia, and I'm in my...er,....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 (author)Z..2010-08-19

I've tasted clay pigeons, they're no good no matter how you prepare them.

Z.. (author)kill-a-watt2010-08-19

HA!! Thanks for the laugh kill-a-watt!!

Jayefuu (author)Z..2010-04-09

Did someone mention woodpigeon?

https://www.instructables.com/id/Woodpigeon-Stroganoff/

Z.. (author)Jayefuu2010-04-09

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

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

 

ghostrider2 (author)Z..2010-04-09

thats the beauty of america.  austrailia has an age limit on guns?

Z.. (author)ghostrider22010-04-09

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..2010-01-26

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.. (author)Jayefuu2010-01-26

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!!

LoganMackey (author)2010-06-02

This is a instructable? Shouldn't this be on a food or cooking website?

Jayefuu (author)LoganMackey2010-06-02

The same could be said of your hobo soup. There's a fair bit more to this though.

Fred82664 (author)2010-01-25

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 *****   

RavingMadStudios (author)2010-01-24

Nice. This looks fantastic.



Curses, now I have to go kill a deer.

Jayefuu (author)RavingMadStudios2010-01-24

Heh. Thanks for the sub. ^.^

rocklocker (author)2010-01-24

Is a "Swede" a turnip or a rutabaga?

Jayefuu (author)rocklocker2010-01-24

Wikipedia says rutabega :D I'll add it in brackets to the step. Thanks

hooloovoo33 (author)2010-01-24

This would probably work well with lamb too, yah?
Looks delicious!

Jayefuu (author)hooloovoo332010-01-24

Thanks. Yes definitely good with lamb shanks too!

red-king (author)2010-01-24

 my god... this looks absolutely delicious...

Hiyadudez (author)2010-01-24

Ooohhh... that looks nice and yummy :-)

5*

Jayefuu (author)Hiyadudez2010-01-24

It was! I'm still full.

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