Years ago I spotted this recipe from Lidia Bastianich, noted on a sidebar in Saveur Cooks: Authentic Italian. Over the years I’ve adapted this into my kitchen using a venison roast cut into pieces instead of the shanks (because that is what I had), adjusting measurements here and there. This is the recipe that changed my relationship with venison and has influenced many others that have sat at my table. If venison is not your thing try Lamb Shanks, Short Ribs, or any cut of braising meat. It really is a wonderful recipe. CLICK HERE for the entire blog post
I love to serve this with something to soak up the sauce. Polenta or risotto are the traditional favorites but feel free to experiment with farro, pasta, rice or even mashed potatoes.
- 2 Onions, Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Of Olive Oil + 2 Tablespoons
- 1 Carrot, Shredded
- 1 Rib of Celery, Chopped
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 4 Whole Cloves
- 1 Sprig of Fresh Rosemary
- 10 Juniper Berries
- 3 - 4 lb Venison Roast, cut into 8 oz serving pieces
- 2 Cups of Flour, more as needed
- 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
- 1 Cup Fruity Red Wine
- 1 Cup Fresh Carrot Juice
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- Zest and Juice from 1 Orange
- 1 28 oz Can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes, drained of juice and crushed
- 2 Cups of Chicken Stock
- salt and pepper
- Heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat, reduce heat and sauté the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the shredded carrot, celery, bay leaf, cloves, rosemary, and juniper berries. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and golden, about 15 minutes. Ass 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and sauté until caramelized.
- Season the venison with salt and pepper then dredge in the flour. Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet and sear the venison over high heat until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
- Nestle the venison into the vegetables in the large pot. Deglaze the skillet used to brown the shanks with the red wine scraping up the browned bits and add to the pot along with the carrot juice, lemon zest, and orange zest and juice, bring to a boil to reduce the liquid about 5 minutes. Adjust the heat so the liquid in the pot is simmering, add the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands as they go into the pot. Simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir 2 cups of hot chicken stock into the pot and simmer until the meat is fork tender.
- Remove the venison to a plate, pass the sauce through a food mill, clean out your pot then return the meat and the sauce to it. Keep warm until ready to serve.