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“Braised Venison Shoulder”

My great-aunt was an avid gardener, who used lament daily on the what the deer had taken from her garden during the night. The contraptions I’ve seen to prevent deer from feasting on the garden are humorous and sometimes extreme...ranging from human urine to potato sacks covered in dried blood. Since many habitats can't support as many deer as it has, rather than letting them starve to death, appreciating the deer for its flavorsome meat seems the best way to cope!
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time2 hrs 40 mins
Total Time5 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings


For the Marinade:

  • oil
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onions
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 whole clove
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sprig of thyme
  • parsley stems
  • 8 peppercorns

For Braising:

  • 4 small or 2 large venison shoulders
  • olive oil
  • 3 cups veal or beef stock
  • 1 cup onions diced
  • 1 cup carrots diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup ripe tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 cup celery diced
  • 1 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • salt & pepper


For the Marinade:

  • Heat the oil in a heavy pan over medium heat and sweat the vegetables. Add the wine and vinegar and remaining aromatic ingredients and simmer slowly for 30 minutes.
  • Cool thoroughly and pour over venison. Let it soak for several hours.

For the Venison Braise:

  • Remove the shoulders from the marinade and pat them dry.
  • Heat a roasting pan and add the olive oil. Add the venison shoulders and sauté on all sides until nicely browned. Remove and set aside.
  • Add the onions, carrots, garlic cloves and celery to the pan and cook until well browned. Pour off any grease and add the herbs.
  • Add the wine and deglaze the little carmelized brown bits at the bottom of your pan, scraping them with a wooden spoon. Add the stock and tomatoes and a little salt and pepper. Return the venison shoulders to the liquid.
  • Tightly cover the roasting pan with tin foil and place in a 300° F – 325° F oven to braise for approximately 2 ½ hours.
  • When the shoulders are tender, remove the roasting pan from the oven. Remove the lid and let the shoulders rest for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully degrease the cooking liquid by skimming the fat off the top with a ladle.
  • Remove the shoulders from the pot and set aside in a warm place covered. Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh seive. You can reduce some of this liquid in a separate sauce pan until it is thick, and pour it over your venison to serve.