Updated: Sep 18, 2021
Anyone who follows me, knows that I love a good venison shank. It’s a cut that’s often over looked even though it’s one of the more versatile and flavorful parts of the animal.
The shank has a good amount of connective tissue and is best suited for low & slow moist cooking. In this recipe I do just that, and serve it atop of a creamy farroto. If you wondering what the heck a farrotto is, it’s basically a risotto made with Farro. It’s delicious and packed with more nutrients than the classic Arborio rice.
COOKS NOTES: The shanks can be braised and left in their juices in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
I think they actually benefit for sitting one night. When serving this dish you can also shred and chop the shank meat, then fold it into your farrotto at the end.
If serving the shanks whole, you can throw them under your broiler for a few minutes in each side to give them a little extra flavor from the char.
• 4 - venison shanks
• 3/4 cup - dry red wine
• 5 - garlic cloves (crushed)
• 2 - carrots (chopped)
• 1 - Roma tomato (chopped)
• 1 - bay leaf
• 2 tbsp - grape seed or vegetable oil
• 2 tbsp - olive oil (extra virgin)
• 1.5 cups - farro
• 1 cup - dry red wine
• 4.5 cups - venison or chicken stock
• 1 tbsp - chopped thyme (1/2 tbsp if dried thyme)
• 1- medium sweet potato (1/2 inch dice)
• 1 - medium red onion (small dice)
• 2 - garlic cloves (chopped)
• 1 tbsp - unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup - Parmesan cheese
• 2 Tbsp - toasted pine nuts (chopped aftwr toasting)
• salt & pepper to taste
1. For the shanks. Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees. While the oven is heating up, place a heavy bottemed pan over medium-high heat. Season the shanks with salt and pepper. Once your Pan is hot, add the grape seed oil and brown the shanks on all sides. Set aside.
2. Lower the heat on your pan to medium and add the carrots and garlic. Once the garlic has a nice golden brown color, add the wine to the pan, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom. Remove from the heat.
3. In a baking dish big enough to just fit all of the shanks, add the shanks, the carrot & wine mixture from the pan, bay leaf, stock and tomato. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 300 degrees for approximately 2 hours.
4. For the farrotto. After the shanks are nice and tender, set them aside and
keep covered. In a pot add the stock and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to your lowest setting and keep warm.
5. In a large heavy bottomed pan, heat your olive oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic, onion and sweet potato, season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the farro and red wine and cook while stirring until it is evaporated. Turn the heat to low.
6. Add one cup of the warm stock to the farro and cook partially covered for 15 minutes while stirring every two minutes. Repeat the process exactly two more times making sure that you keep up with the stirring so that the mixture doesn’t burn.
7. Turn the heat to medium-high. Add a 1/2 cup of stock while stirring until it is absorbed. Repeat with another 1/2 cup of stock. Continue to cook while stirring for about another 5 minutes or until the Farro is creamy and tender. Remove from the heat, stir in the Parmesan and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with more cheese and toasted pine nuts.