Venison Osso Buco with Wild Mushrooms Served in a Warm Bread
October 08, 2021
When it comes to comfort food, osso buco is definitely one of them. There’s something particularly pleasing about everything about this recipe. As simple to prepare as any other more conventional stew recipe, it also enhances a meal that is too often made into ground meat. See every steps of this recipe in this article.
Article written in collaboration with FedeCP and François Lapointe, Editor-in-Chief of Chasse Québec
The central ingredient of this recipe is the slice of shank. This piece is located at the base of the legs of a deer. You will have guessed that it will work very hard throughout the life of the deer; it is therefore necessary to opt for a slow cooking which will favour the release of the collagen. The result will be a tasty piece of tender meat that literally falls off the bone with the added bonus of delicious marrow. This is where the term osso buco comes from, which means “bone with a hole” in Italian.
Because the recipe is simple and cooks slowly, you can prepare it at home, or on a hunting trip. In traditional versions of osso buco, mushrooms are not normally used. In this version, we give a nod to the north with common mushrooms from Quebec forests: chanterelles and lobster mushrooms. The use of these mushrooms is up to you and you can change them with what you have on hand.
You can also swap the wine for another drink, especially beer. Although this is a departure from the traditional version, the most important thing is to enjoy yourself and that it tastes good. The bread serves as a bowl to give a unique look, and dipping it in the broth will allow you to enjoy your preparation to the last drop.
The recipe calls for venison, but it can also be made with moose or bear. Remember that the cooking time will depend on the age of the animal and the size of the piece. It is therefore necessary to occasionally check if the pieces are tender.
15-20 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 3 tbsp of dried thyme)
1 sprig of fresh sage
10 sprigs fresh oregano
+/- 800 grams of slices of venison shanks
Salt and pepper
1 cup of white flour
450 grams of fresh chanterelles
5 bay leaves
2 cups of white wine
50 grams of dried lobster mushrooms
2 cups of beef broth
+/- 800ml (1 can) canned diced tomatoes
+/- 150ml (1 can) tomato paste
1 clove of garlic
1 whole lemon
1/2 cup of chopped Italian parsley
1 loaf of bread in a pot, or any other loaf of unsliced bread with a firm crust
Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
Dice carrots, celery stalks and onions.
Cut garlic into very small pieces. Set aside.
(Optional) Make a bouquet garni with the fine herbes, except for the bay leaves and parsley. To do so, take all your herbs and tie them with butcher’s twine. This step will save you from having to sort the herbs when serving. Set aside.
Season the shank slices with salt and pepper and sprinkle flour over the shank slices. Shake the pieces to remove excess flour.
In an ovenproof pot, pour olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Wait until oil is hot and then place shank slices on top. Sear the pieces so that the flour turns nutty brown but does not burn. Once the operation is finished, remove and set aside.
In the same pot, add the onions, garlic and chanterelles. Stir as needed. When the onions start to become translucent, add the celery and carrots. Stir as needed. After about 7 to 8 minutes, the vegetables should look semi-cooked, but still crisp.
When all the vegetables are seared, add the bouquet garni and bay leaves. Deglaze with the wine. Add the shank slices, the lobster mushrooms, the beef broth, the diced tomatoes, the tomato paste and the parsley. Leave on the fire until all the contents are cooked, then place in the oven. The cooking should take 2 to 4 hours, depending on the age of your game.
During cooking, remove the lid to let the liquid reduce. The pieces must remain covered with liquid to prevent them from drying out. When the broth has reduced enough, replace the lid and remove about 30 minutes before serving.
About 10 minutes before serving, prepare the bread. Cut off the top of the bread to expose the crumb (inside) of the bread. Keep in mind that the meat pieces will have to fit inside the bread. Remove the crumb and press the remaining crumb onto the crust. The bread should not have any cracks in the crust, otherwise the liquid could leak out.
Prepare the gremolata. Grate the garlic clove and then the lemon. In a small container, mix well with chopped parsley. Set aside.
Pour the osso buco into the bread, then add the broth to taste. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and the gremolata.