Braised Venison Shoulder

I have never been hunting before but a good friend of mine has been for many years. He knows I love to cook so he invited me out on a hunting trip with him to see if we could get some some fresh venison. I think he also wanted to try out his new rangefinder he just received from . He promised me it would help him get a clean head shot which always produces the best tasting meat. Well he was right, after a weekend in the bush we came home with around 60 pounds of fresh, edible white tail venison. Now it was my turn to cook up something amazing to thank him for the trip.

venison shoulderTo celebrate our success I decided to do a braised venison shoulder. The slow, moist cooking process really helps to tenderize the meat and bring out is true flavor. I will also be using some dried wild mushrooms, vegetables, herbs,bacon and some wine in this recipe. The first step is to rehydrate the dried mushrooms using warm water. I used some pacific golden chanterelles and porcini mushrooms which I soaked in warm water for about an hour. Next step is to cut up our fresh vegetables. For this recipe I used two leeks, four carrots, four small onions and five cloves of crushed garlic. Chopp up the vegetables into bite size pieces and then remove the re-hydrated mushrooms from the warm water. Make sure to save the mushroom broth as it will be used later on in the cooking process.

rehydrating dried mushrooms

Once all the ingredients are prepared start adding them to a deep roasting pan over a medium heat with a generous amount of butter added along with a bit of olive oil. For some extra flavor I started with a few slices of chopped bacon and let that cook down for a few minutes.  Then add the fresh vegetables, cook for a few more minutes and follow with the mushrooms.While the ingredients in the pan are cooking season the venison shoulder with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Now remove the cooked vegetables, add a bit more olive oil to the pan and place the venison shoulder in it to sear the sides. Once both sides are well seared add the vegetables back into the pan. Now add some liquid to the pan. I decided to go with a whole bottle of wine, the mushroom broth and enough chicken broth to cover most of the shoulder. The final ingredients to be added to the pan are the herbs which include fresh parsley,rosemary and thyme.

Now cover the pan in aluminum foil and place in a 300 degree oven for around three to fours hours. Once done remove the pan from the oven and spoon off the liquid which will be used to make gravy for the meat. Cover the pan with the foil again to let the shoulder rest for 20 minutes before carving. The long cooking process really helps a tuff piece of meat like a shoulder tenderize to the point you can almost cut it with a fork and it turned out fantastic.  It really was a great experience to be apart of this hunt and follow it through to an amazing dinner that feed both our families. Definitely something we will have to again one day.

braised venison shoulder