Venison Osso Buco Recipe

venison osso buco.JPG
Donald Russell
  • 3 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8
Ratings (5)

Osso buco is a classic Italian dish of braised veal shanks. But in this inspired variation of the traditional recipe, venison shanks are substituted for the veal shanks, and they give a fuller, more robust flavor to the braise. Like most braised dishes, the osso buco will taste even better reheated the next day.

What You'll Need

  • 4 pounds venison osso buco (or elk osso buco, or whole venison shanks*)
  • 1 to 2 pinches kosher salt
  • Pinch black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 large carrot (finely chopped)
  • 2 medium stalks celery (finely chopped)
  • 2 large cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 3/4 cup red wine (preferably burgundy/pinot noir or zinfandel)
  • 14 1/2 ounce can of diced tomatoes (drained, or 2 fresh tomatoes, diced)
  • 4 cups beef broth (homemade or packaged, not canned)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • Optional: 1 to 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (finely grated fresh)

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. On the stove top heat a Dutch oven or large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season the venison shanks with Kosher salt and several good grinds of freshly ground pepper.
  2. Add the butter and olive oil to the pot over medium-high heat, When the butter has stopped foaming, add the venison shanks two at a time, and brown them on all sides. Transfer the browned shanks to a platter.
  1. Reduce heat to medium, and sauté the chopped onion until golden brown, adding a little more butter and olive oil or both if necessary.
  2. Add the chopped carrot and celery, and sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute (take care to don’t let it burn).
  3. Stir in the red wine and deglaze the pot by scraping up the crusty bits with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the tomatoes, beef broth, bay leaves, and thyme to pot. Return the browned shanks to the pot along with any juices that have accumulated on the platter.
  4. Cover the pot and braise in the oven until venison is tender about 2-1/2 to 3 hours. When tender a fork or knife will easily pierce the meat and separate it. If the venison hasn't become tender, just keep cooking it. (There is no such thing as tough osso buco, just osso buco that hasn’t been cooked long enough.)
  5. When the osso buco is tender, remove the shanks from the pot to a warm platter. Put the pot on the stove top over high heat and bring the pan juices to a boil. Allow them to reduce by half, about 5 minutes.
  6. If you want a thicker sauce, mix equal parts cornstarch and water in a small bowl, then whisk into the sauce. You can also mix softened butter and flour together, and add it to the boiling sauce.
  7. Mix the parsley, garlic and lemon zest in a small bowl. Serve the osso buco, topped with sauce and several sprinkles of the gremolata.

*Available at Broken Arrow Ranch.

 Recipe courtesy of Broken Arrow Ranch.