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Venison Osso Buco

This recipe is one of my all-time favorites! Osso buco is an Italian dish that traditionally braises veal shanks. We love using wild game for the deep, full flavors it produces.

4 lbs Broken Arrow Ranch Venison Osso Buco, or Whole Venison Shanks
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup red wine, preferably Burgundy/Pinot Noir or Zinfandel
14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained (or 2 fresh tomatoes, diced)
4 cups beef broth
2 bay leaves
2 tsp fresh thyme
Cornstarch (optional)

For Gremolata:
3 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. finely grated fresh lemon zest

Preheat oven to 325°F. On the stovetop heat a braiser or large pot over medium-high heat. Season osso buco with salt and pepper. Add butter and olive oil to pot then, working in small batches, brown osso buco on both sides. Remove browned osso buco to a platter. Reduce heat to medium and sauté onion until golden brown, adding a little more butter/olive oil if necessary. Add carrot and celery and sauté until tender. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute (don’t let it burn). Add red wine and deglaze the pot by scraping up the crusty bits with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add tomatoes, beef broth, bay leaves, and thyme to pot. Return the osso buco to the pan along with any accumulated juices.

Cover the pot and cook in the 325°F oven until meat is tender, at least 4 - 6 hours. When tender a fork or knife will easily pierce the meat and separate it. If meat is not tender just keep cooking. There is no such thing as tough osso buco, just osso buco that hasn’t been cooked long enough.

When the osso buco is tender remove them from the pot onto a warm platter. Reduce the remaining pan juices by about half on the stovetop over high heat. If necessary, the sauce can be thickened with a water and cornstarch slurry or beurre manie (softened butter and flower mixture).

Prepare gremolata by mixing together parsley, garlic and lemon zest in a small bowl.

Serve osso buco topped with sauce and gremolata. Osso buco goes well with “white” creamy sides such as risotto, polenta, bean puree, or simply creamy mashed potatoes.

TIP: I find braised dishes are even better when allowed to “rest” overnight. The meat is more tender and the flavors have blended. If possible, make a day in advance, store overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat when ready to serve.

Serves 4 to 6.

Broken Arrow Ranch