For the 2021 Alberta Sportsmen Show and the BC Sportsmen Show BBQ Brian crafted a couple of recipes for the hunters in our neighborhoods. This Grilled and Braised Game Shank recipe is super, super tasty and fairly easy to do. Quite possibly one of the best ones you could cook after the hunt!
Grilled and Braised Game Shanks
Shanks are the lower portion of the leg meat on any animal. The meat has many tendons and meat is rather tough from a tenderness point of view. The challenge is how to cook them this cut to get the meat tender and tasty without the nuisance of the other parts.
This recipe is good for any game meat such as venison, elk, moose or something that you can get at your local grocery store – lamb shanks.
Just a quick comment as to what a “braise” is…. it is a moist environment cooking technique where most a meat is partially immersed into a liquid with a lid or enclosed pot. Inside the pot the moisture and heat steams which increases the pressure inside the pot and that dissolved tough fibre and connective tissue leaving soft and tender proteins. It is not boiled but partially immersed. It is not poached (or fully immersed) at a low temperature but braised. We hope that to distinguish the differences.
4 Game shanks (or lamb shanks as in the video below)
2-3 TB House of Q Gusto D’Italia Premium Seasoning
2-3 Carrots, roughly chopped
1 Onion, peeled, roughly chopped
2-3 stalks Celery, roughly chopped
2-4 cloves Garlic
3-4 Bay leaves
1-2 ts Rosemary (fresh is best however dry can be used)
1 medium size can Tomatoes, crushed or sauce (tomato paste can also be used but add more stock)
1-2 Cups Beef or Chicken stock
1 Cup Red wine
1-2 TB Flour
Prepare your charcoal fire or gas grill for direct heat cooking at medium high heat. Pour oil on the shanks and sprinkle on the Gusto D’Italia seasoning or your choice of spices. Sear the meat until a crust is established rolling the shanks around to get charring on all sides. At this point you want to get colour and flavour and not to cook completely. Remove the shanks from the fire and set aside.
Preheat your Dutch oven over the fire and add some oil. Sautee the vegetables and garlic stirring frequently. Add the Bay leaf, rosemary, tomatoes and stock. Allow the liquid to heat up then place the seared shanks on top of the braising liquid. Cover and cook at a medium heat (about 300 F or so) for 90 minutes or so to see where it is at. Check the meat temperature – it should be around 190-200 F which is where the meat will start becoming rather tender. If less that 190 F, cover up again and keep cooking. The goal is to make sure the meat reaches above 200 F, before the dish can be finished up.
Once the shanks have reached above 200 F, remove them from the braising pot and set aside. Using a slotted spoon scoop out the vegetables into a bowl to discard leaving the sauce from the braising liquid. Add 3/4 cup of the wine keeping some to mixture and dissolve the flour. Once dissolved, add the flour mixture to the thin braising liquid. The flour roux will thicken the sauce as it heats. Simmer for five to ten minutes and stir the ‘gravy’. Add the shanks back into the sauce and continue to heat through.
This dish is perfect with some mashed potatoes, rice or even some pasta. Place the potatoes on the bottom then a shank and of course topped with the tasty gravy. Enjoy!