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Updated: Mar 1

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Easy Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Venison Shanks. Venison shanks braised with red wine, chilies, herbs, oranges and dates. The flavors have a bit of a Middle Eastern flair to them but pair well with just about any starchy accompaniment such as rice, pasta, couscous or sweet potatoes. Once shredded off the bone the versatility of the shank meat is virtually endless. I like to roll the shredded meat inside of filo dough, fry or bake them until crispy, and then dip into the reduced braising liquid.

Slow Cooker Venison Shank Recipe

Cooks Notes:

  • Cooking Times: Cooking times can vary greatly when slow-cooking venison shanks in a crockpot. They can be tender in 8 hours and sometimes up to 12 hours; you just need to check on them to get the peak tenderness. A good rule of thumb is if the shanks aren't tender when you check them, cook for another hour and repeat as needed. You can also braise the venison shanks in a baking dish in the oven set at 325 degrees F or in a pressure cooker instead of using a slow cooker.

  • Making a Sauce: After the shanks are cooked, you have the option of making a sauce out of the cooking liquid. Simply strain out 3 to 4 cups of the braising liquid into a pot. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce it by half of its volume (around 2 cups). Now is a good time to add a few extra pitted dates for some extra sweetness and texture to the final dish as well. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed. You can also whisk in some melted butter for a bit of extra richness to the sauce.

  • Whole Shanks versus Cut Shanks: The shanks used for this recipe can be left whole or cut into disks as for Osso Buco. Whole shanks will take a bit longer to cook, but the results are pretty similar. I prefer to leave them whole to minimize my time butchering at home.

  • To Sear or Not to Sear: While this recipe calls for searing the venison shanks before slow cooking them in the crockpot, it isn't completely necessary. You'll lose a little depth of flavor by skipping the searing step, but it will still be a tasty dish. If you have time, after the shanks are cooked you can opt to brown them under the broiler of your oven instead of searing them beforehand.

  • Garnishes: To spruce things up a bit you can add orange segments, warm pitted dates, orange zest and fresh herbs like parsley, mint or fennel fronds.



  1. Dry the venison shanks off with paper towels and season them with salt and black pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the cooking oil. Once the cooking oil is hot and starts to shimmer, add the shanks and deeply down on all sides. Work in batches if needed to prevent the shanks from steaming in the pan.

  2. Remove the shanks from the pan and place them in the slow cooker. Turn the heat to low and add the red wine to the pan. Using a sturdy spoon or spatula, scrape up any brown bits that are on the bottom of the pan. Once the bottom of the pan appears to be relatively clean, remove from the heat and pour over the shanks. (You can also skip this step and continue to step 3).

  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, cover and cook on the low setting for around 10 to 12 hours. If you're nervous they won't be tender enough, you can cook them for as long as 15 hours without losing much quality in the final dish.

  4. For a delish sauce follow my tips for (Making a Sauce) in the Cooks Notes sections above.

Looking for other Venison Shank Recipes? These are my favorites:

Lastly, if you make this easy Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Venison Shank Recipe, 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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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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