Venison shank and barley stew is a wintertime essential. I took the shanks off the bone for this one because I used my own chicken stock and wanted to make it ready-to-eat at camp this weekend. These were braised all day at 200f.
My own recipe and process… always start with a cast iron dutch oven. Saute diced onions and minced garlic in hot oil (with cumin, and some garam masala). Once spices are bloomed, add your fresh cut carrots, salt and cook some more.
Add chicken fat and stock just enough to lube up while you scrape the brown bits up. Lay in the shanks… sprinkle with parsley and rosemary. Roll shanks around a little and finally top up with stock until they are covered. Toss in 4 bay leaves. Celery would have been great, but I was out!
Braise for as long as you have (all day at 200, or turn up to 225 if you want faster). At the point several hours in where you can take out a shank and shred it with a fork, shred all.
The collagen and tendons will pull right apart and the thickest ones turn to a goo that as cooked starts working as a thickener. I then add in quick cook barley. Love this stuff. Then two tablespoons of horseradish. I also dumped in some leftover peas (because they were there) a can of tomato paste and actually, some fresh cilantro this time. I was easy on it because I plan to cut fresh and garnish with it too.
Stir, taste, cook some more if you want. Serve on some crunchy rye or sourdough. This is a stick-to-your-ribs dish from those shanks!!
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