BRAISED VENISON SHANKS w/ HOMINY & PARSNIP PUREE, OVEN ROASTED HOMINY & SPANISH CHORIZO GRAVY

Braised Venison Shank Recipe
Photo by Larry White

These braised venison shanks are the perfect comfort food for a cool Fall or Winter meal. The hominy & parsnip puree is a creamy and little bit sweet treat that pairs perfect with the Spanish chorizo gravy. The crispy hominy is oven roasted and adds a little bit of texture to the tender meat and velvety puree. For serving I like to top mine off with some toasted pumpkin seeds, fresh thyme and parsley. If you're not in the mood to eat parsnips, mashed potatoes or rice go perfectly with the shanks as well.


Cooks Notes:

  • Cooking times can vary greatly when cooking venison shanks. They may be tender in two hours and sometimes up to 6 hours. You just need to check on them. You can also braise them in a baking dish in the oven set at 325 degrees F instead of a large pot or slow-cooker

  • You will be straining and using the shanks cooking liquid to make the gravy. You will need a total of 4 cups and possibly a little more to thin the gravy out. Have some venison or chicken stock on hand in case you don't have enough strained cooking liquid to make the gravy.

  • When making the crispy hominy, be prepared for them to pop. A few may end up on your ovens floor.

  • When cooking the hominy the cooking time depends on what texture you're going for. After 15 to 20 minutes, they will be slightly chewy and a little crunchy. Cook for 30 minutes or until they have darkened, and the will be really crunchy, similar to corn nuts. Keep in mind that after they are cooked, they will harden up a little more once cooled to room temperature.


INGREDIENTS


For the Shanks

  • 4 - venison shanks

  • 2 cups - carrots, peeled and diced

  • 1 cup - onion, diced

  • 1 - bell pepper, diced

  • 1 cup - tomatoes, diced

  • 2 - celery stalks - diced

  • 2 - thyme sprigs

  • 1 - bay leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon - smoked paprika

  • 3 - cloves of garlic, chopped

  • 1 cup - Spanish chorizo, diced

  • salt and pepper to taste


For the Parsnip and Hominy Puree

  • 2 cups - canned Mexican Style Hominy, drain and rinsed

  • 2 - large parsnips, peeled and sliced

  • 3/4 cup - milk

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 2 - garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

  • 1/2 stick of butter

  • salt and pepper


For the Crispy Hominy

  • 2 cups - canned Mexican Style Hominy, drained, rinsed and dried.

  • 2 tablespoons - olive oil

  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Spanish Chorizo Gravy

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 1/3 cup - all purpose flour

  • 1 cup - Spanish chorizo, diced

  • 1 teaspoon - fresh thyme

  • 4 cups braising liquid, strained from the shanks

  • venison or chicken stock if you don't have enough braising liquid

  • salt and pepper to taste



DIRECTIONS

  1. Start the venison shanks. Place the shanks in a large pot or slow cooker so that they can lay horizontal. If they can't lay horizontal, trim a couple of inches off of the bone so that they fit if you can. Add all of the ingredients for the shanks except the Spanish chorizo. Add enough water or salt-free stock to barely cover the shanks. Bring the shanks to a simmer if using a pot. If using a slow cooker, set the heat to high. Cook until tender as mentioned in the cooks notes above. Start the parsnip and hominy puree while the shanks cook.

  2. Make the parsnip and hominy puree. To a pot, add the parsnips, hominy and garlic. Cover them with the milk and cream. Bring to a simmer and cook until the parsnips are just fork tender, about 15 minutes. Add only the cooked parsnips, hominy and butter to a blender or food processor. Blend while adding enough milk to achieve a silky smooth texture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Then warm when ready to eat.

  3. Make the Crispy Hominy. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees F. Drain, rinse and dry the hominy thoroughly. Add them to a bowl and toss with the olive oil. Place on a baking sheet in an even layer. Cook for 15 to 30 minutes depending on what texture you're looking to achieve. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool to room temperature. Set aside or place in an air tight container until needed.

  4. Continue with the shanks. Once the shanks are very tender, remove them from the pot and set aside. Strain the pot and reserve 4 cups of the cooking liquid and discard the solids. Cover the shanks and keep them warm while you make the gravy. *** For more texture on the shanks, brush them with a little oil and place them under your ovens broiler for a few minutes until brown and crispy.

  5. Make the gravy. To a pot, add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook until lightly browned. Add the all purpose flour. Stir until until there are no lumps in the flour. While frequently stirring, cook the roux until it is a light golden color (about 8-10 minutes). While whisking, add the braising liquid/stock to the pot. After a few minutes, it will begin to thicken. If it's too thick, add a little more liquid. Add the thyme and slowly simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust thickness and seasoning as needed.

  6. Time to serve. Place the shanks on top of the warmed puree and top with gravy, crispy hominy and black pepper if you like.