Recipe: Osso Buco


When you think about the tenderness of game, there is chewy and then there is deer shank chewy.  The problem, however, is once you trim away the gristle and fascia from deer shanks, there is little meat left to grind.  This recipe is the answer for this particularly difficult cut of meat.   My take calls for red wine, mirepoix, and tomatoes.  Enjoy.

Serves 4

Prep Time 2 ½ hours


  • Dutch Oven
  • Wooden Spatula or Spoon
  • Tongs


Osso Buco

  •  ½ cup coconut oil or bacon fat rendered
  • Four Venison Shanks, cut into discs 1 ½ inch thick or not.
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of venison, duck, or chicken broth.
  • 2 bay leaves,
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes


  • 6  cloves grated garlic
  • 6 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 ½  cup minced fresh parsley leaves


  1.  Preheat your oven to 325.  In a large enough Dutch oven, melt a couple tablespoons of fat or oil until shimmering over medium high heat.  Pat your shanks dry, and liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Then brown 2 of your shanks for five minutes on each side.  They should have a crisp orange-brown surface when you finish.  Set aside in a bowl, and remove Dutch Oven from heat.  Add a cup of red wine and with your wooden spatula scrape up the flavor ladened brown pieces and then the pour liquid into the bowl of 2 shanks you set aside.  Repeat the same process with the other two shanks.
  2. After deglazing the second time, add the remaining oil and bring to a shimmer again.  Add the carrots, celery and onions plus about a half teaspoon of salt and black pepper and fry about ten minutes stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute.  Now add the broth, remainder of wine, bay leaves, tomatoes and dump the bowl of shanks and all the juices back into the pot.  Bring to a solid simmer.  Cover with lid, and place in oven for an 1 ½ hours, or until tender, but not falling off the bone.
  3. Toss the gremolata ingredients  into a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. This is sort of pico de gallo-esque, in that you can sprinkle some in the pot of shanks and add some to your individual servings.
  4. Remove each shank and serve plain or with risotto, polenta, or mashed potatoes.  Ladle juices and veggies from the pot over individual servings



  1. Holy cow (or doe) that looks delicious. I’ll be packaging some whole shanks for the first time this fall that’s for sure. As an added bonus, not having to dissect and grind will save hours of butchering.

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