Updated: Sep 18, 2021
One of my favorite parts to eat from a deer are the shanks. Most people have had them either ground up in a burger or simply slow cooked and eaten like a roast. I wanted to show you all a different technique to shine some light on one of the best cuts off of the animal.
The great part about this recipe is that it showcases the usefulness of the connective tissue within the shank. When slow cooked the natural binders are pretty much melted away and dispatched within cooking liquid, which helps form the shredded meat into disks. You can virtually cut them into any shape you like as long as it has enough surface area to get a crunchy sear.
Here I have mine plated with a saute of granny smith apples and fennel, roasted brussel sprouts and a serrano vinaigrette. These crispy trotters are very versatile and plate well with numerous sides. Try anything from succotash to mash potatoes and gravy.
For the Trotters
2 each - venison shanks
1 each - carrot (chopped)
2 each - garlic cloves (crushed)
1 each - bay leaf
3 sprigs - fresh thyme
1/2 - small onion (chopped)
1 teaspoon - black peppercorns
1 teaspoon - whole coriander
3 each - whole cloves
1 each - celery stalk (chopped)
2 each - eggs
2 tablespoons - dijon mustard (divided)
2 tablespoons - fresh chives (chopped)
Salt and pepper - to taste
2 cups - panko breadcrumbs
as needed - grapeseed oil or any other high smoke point cooking oil
Slow Cooking the Trotters
Add all of the ingredients except the eggs, mustard, chives, salt and pepper to a wide/shallow pot with just enough water to cover.
Cover and bring to a lazy simmer and cook for 2 hours or until the meat easily separates from the bone.
Once tender remove and set aside to cool. Strain the cooking liquid into another pot.
Simmer the cooking liquid until it has reduced by 1/2 and then let chill to room temperature.
Meanwhile shred the shank meat as fine as possible.
For the Trotter Cakes
To the shredded shank meat add one tablespoon of dijon mustard, chives and salt and pepper to taste.
Add two tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid to the meat mixture. If it seems a little dry, add another tablespoon. Mix very well.
Cut out a one foot section of plastic wrap.
Spread the mixture horizontally in the center of the wrap and roll into the shape of a log. Twist the ends tight to ensure everything is compact.
Place the meat in the refrigerator overnight in order for it to set up.
Add the eggs and 1 tablespoon mustard to a bowl and mix well.
Add the panko breadcrumbs to separate bowl.
Slice the meat log into 1 inch disks.
Dip the meat disks one by one into the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumbs and set them to the side.
Heat a nonstick or cast iron pan to medium high heat and then add about a 1/4 inch of cooking oil.
Saute the disks until they are golden brown on each side and hot in the middle.
Season with salt and pepper before serving.