Braised Shoulder of Venison
This is a great basic recipe for enjoying venison shoulder. A slow braise in red wine and our venison stock, with plenty of aromatic vegetables and herbs, yields meltingly tender meat. If you want to change it up, try adding a little minced ginger or some sauteéd mushrooms or even some raisins and a little cinnamon toward the end of cooking time to highlight the complex sweet/savory flavor of the venison. Serve it over mashed potatoes, polenta, rice, or wide buttered noodles.
1 5-pound shoulder of venison
Salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup Graisse de Canard Gold®, bacon drippings, or vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry red wine
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juices
1 1/2 ounces Glace de Viande Gold® dissolved in 4 cups hot water
2 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
3 parsley stems
Season the venison with salt and pepper. Place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the Graisse de Canard Gold® and brown the venison in the duck fat on all sides. Remove the venison from the pot and set it aside.
Lower the heat to medium and add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Pour in the red wine and simmer, stirring to scrape the browned bits from the pot. Simmer until the wine is reduced to 1/2 cup, then stir in the tomatoes with their juices and the diluted Glace de Viande Gold®. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, and parsley stems and bring back to a rapid simmer.
Place the venison back in the pot, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the venison is fork tender and pulls away from the bone. Check occasionally during cooking to make sure the braising liquid is at a low simmer, adjusting the heat as needed.
Remove the venison from the pot and set aside to rest for a few minutes. Increase the heat and simmer the braising liquid until it has reduced and thickened slightly. Remove the herb stems and bay leaves. Cut the venison into chunks and return it to the braising liquid. Simmer gently for 2-3 minutes and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Wine Pairing: Zinfandel, Rhone red wine