SIMMERED VENISON SHANKS WITH TOASTED PEANUT GRAVY
Updated: Sep 21, 2021
Growing up in the South, I ate a wide variety of dishes that incorporated peanuts in some way. From roasted peanut soup to peanut butter pie, it was all delicious and unique. But the American South definitely isn't the birthplace of peanut cookery, if you dig deep you'll find that Africa, Asia and Latin America were on to this long before. This is a very fresh tasting dish and goes well with a side of basmati rice or my favorite, Carolina gold rice. And if you don't happen to have any shanks laying around, this works great with venison neck too.
Cooks notes: You may need to cut a couple of inches of bone off of the shanks if you don't have a large enough pot to fit them. Alternately, you could cook this dish in a 330 degree oven in a tightly covered baking dish.
3 tablespoons peanut oil (or butter)
1 1/2 cups raw unsalted peanuts
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 cup chopped sweet onions
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup coconut milk
juice of 1 fresh lime
12 ounces of lager beer
2 cups chicken stock
4 venison shanks
2 tablespoons olive oil (for searing shanks)
salt and pepper (for seasoning shanks)
fried garlic and shallots (you can find at your local Asian market or on Amazon)
Start off by making the gravy: in a large skillet, heat the peanut oil over medium heat. Add the peanuts, garlic, onions and ginger. Cook for 3-4 minutes while stirring often. You want to toast the peanuts here and the onions should be translucent. Add the spices and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the stock, lime juice, coconut milk and beer. Bring this mixture to a slow simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until the peanuts are soft. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
Once the gravy has cooled slightly, add to a blender and puree until very smooth. If it becomes too thick, add a little water at a time to thin out. It should be the consistency of a traditional gravy.
While the gravy is resting, it's time to brown the shanks: Season the shanks all over with salt and pepper. Place a large dutch oven or wide pot over medium-heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the shanks and brown well on all sides. This should take about 5-8 minutes.
Turn the heat to low and pour the peanut gravy over the shanks. Cover with a lid and simmer for 2 1/2 hours or until the shanks are tender. (Be sure to stir the shanks and gravy around about every 15 to 20 minutes so that the gravy doesn't burn.) If you notice the gravy getting a little too thick, simply add a touch of water to thin out. This can happen if your lid isn't very tight fitting.
Serve with your favorite rice and garnish with.