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Updated: May 3

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This easy Slow Cooker Chinese Red Braised Venison Shoulder is perfect for rice bowls, noodle bowls, egg rolls, or spring roll fillings. The braising liquid also doubles as a serving sauce, which is made with soy sauce, sugar, ginger, chilies, scallions, and other delicious ingredients. You can top off your bowl concoctions with toasted peanuts, cilantro, green onions or bean sprouts for extra texture and flavor. You can also get a little outside of the box and make Chinese-style pulled venison shoulder sandwiches.

Venison Shoulder Roast Recipe

Cooks Tips:

  • Achieving the Red Color: Some recipes call for the use of red food coloring, but I opt for the natural route. I like to use annatto powder or gochujang chili paste.

  • Cooking Vessels: You'll need around a 8 quart slow cooker or larger for this recipe. If you don't have a crockpot, you can braise this in the oven in a deep roasting pan.

  • Other Cuts of Venison: If you don't have a deer shoulder, venison necks, bone-in and de-boned shanks work as well. And if you only have boneless shoulder meat, that will work also.

  • How to Store Leftovers? You can store leftovers in the refrigerator with a tight fitting lid for around 4 to 5 days. This is one of those dishes that gets better the next day.

  • Can you freeze leftovers? You can totally freeze the leftovers. If stored properly, this will keep well frozen for a couple of months.

Best Venison Roast Recipe

I love this dish made with boar shoulder due or domestic pork belly due to their glorious fat content, but the venison shoulder holds its own with this recipe. In fact, hong shao rou may be one of my favorite pork preparations ever, but this venison version is a tastefully pleasant addition to the wild game cooking repertoire. I did made this dish a bit my own by adding a few different ingredients that don't seem to be authentic in the classic preparations, but their addition yields delicious results. So the final product is a sweet, spicy, garlicky umami-packed sauce that goes wonderfully on a pulled venison sandwich, dressing your bowls or dipping your spring rolls into.

As I mentioned in the cooking tips section above, there are a couple of different ways to achieve a robust red flavor in this dish. I try and avoid food coloring at all costs. But one way that I forgot to mention is the use of gochujang, which is a Korean fermented red chili paste. I know that using this paste will remove this recipe from the classic preparation, but I think it's worth it to add the red color without ingesting food coloring.

Braised Venison Shoulder

Serves: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 15
Cook Time: Around 7 to 9 hours on the low setting (adjust as needed)
Slow Cooker Size: 8+ Quarts


  • one bone-in venison shoulder, whole or cut in half (shank removed)

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil or bacon fat

  • 2 cups onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped

  • 2 two-inch pieces of fresh ginger, sliced

  • 2 three-inch long cinnamon sticks

  • 3 pieces star anise

  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce

  • 1 3/4 cups Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry

  • 1/2 cup natural soy sauce (dark variety if you can find it)

  • 3-5 dried whole hot chilies (Chinese, Thai or Mexican variety)

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar

  • 1 cup light or sodium-free chicken stock (or venison stock)

  • 2 teaspoons annatto powder for red color (optional)

  • 1 bunch scallions, cut in half


  1. Optional Step for Maximum Flavor (or skip to set 2): Heat a pot over medium-high heat and add the cooking oil. Add the onions and saute for around 3 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, cinnamon, star anise, and dried whole chilies. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes while stirring often. Pour in the stock (or water), soy sauce, wine, oyster sauce, brown sugar, and annatto if using. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute and turn off the heat.

  2. Place the venison shoulder in the slow cooker. Pour the ingredients from the pot over the venison shoulder. If you skipped step 1, simply pour all of the remaining ingredients over the venison. You want the liquid to cover between 1/2 to 3/4 of the meat. Add more stock if needed.

  3. Cover the crockpot with the lid and cook on the low setting between 7 to 9 hours. If you have the option to flip the meat over during the cook, it will aid in keeping the meat moist. Keep in mind that venison will cook differently from animal to animal. You may need to adjust the cooking time as you see fit to render tender results. Once tender, shred and eat at once, or skip to step 4.

  4. Optional Step: Let the meat rest in the cooking liquid until it comes to room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. Strain out the cooking liquid and pour it into a pot. Bring to a slow simmer and cook until the liquid has reduced to the consistency of a glaze. It should be able to coat a spoon. Shred the venison shoulder and add the sauce as you like.

Looking for other venison shoulder recipes? These are my favorites:

Lastly, if you make this simple Slow Cooker Chinese Red Braised Venison Shoulder, be sure to leave a comment or tag me on Instagram! I thoroughly enjoy hearing feedback and checking out the photos of recipes that you've made.

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Made this using a Kansas whitetail deer tonight. A solid recipe! Thanks for the new flavor profile.


Meet Larry White

Chef Larry White

Hey folks, I'm Larry. The recipes you'll find here are inspired by my years as a chef, travels as a hunter, and being a father. I cook from these experiences, so my food ranges anywhere from fun and creative to traditional and to what somewhat family style comfort food.     

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