June 20, 2023

Adam Berkelmans

Adam Berkelmans

It’s that time of year when just about everyone’s wild game reserves are running low. If you’re lucky enough to still have some shanks left over, give this delicious venison shank recipe a try!

Print Recipe


Servings 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cooking time 40 minutes


For the Shanks
  • 2 full venison shanks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fat or oil
  • 3 ancho chilies, de-stemmed and de-seeded
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 can/bottle Mexican beer
For the Salsa
  • 8oz fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 8 tomatillos, paper husks removed
  • 1 jalapeno, de-seeded if you want it less spicy
  • 1 small onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • Juice 1 lime


  1. Season the shanks generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the fat or oil in a large Dutch oven that can accommodate the shanks, over high heat. If they’re too large, use a meat saw to break them down into smaller pieces. Add the shanks and sear on all sides until the meat has formed a nice golden brown crust.
  3. Remove the shanks to a plate and turn the heat down to medium.
  4. Add the de-seeded ancho chilies and toast them for 5 minutes, flipping once. Be careful not to let them burn. Remove them from the pot.
  5. Add the chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and spices, add the chilies back in, and cook for 2 more minutes.
  6. Add the beer and deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the shanks back in.
  7. Cover the shanks completely with water or venison stock and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 4 hours. Alternatively, you could put the pot in a 325°F oven and cook it for 4 hours like that.
  8. Meanwhile, place the onions, pineapple, tomatillos and jalapeño on a baking sheet. Put under the broiler in the oven for 5 minutes, or until everything is beginning to develop a light char.
  9. Dump everything into a blender, along with the cilantro and lime juice and blitz into a very lightly chunky salsa. Set aside.
  10. Once the 4 hours is up and the shanks are falling off the bone, remove them from the liquid and set aside to cool. Once cool, shred the meat and discard the bones. Set the meat aside.
  11. Dump the liquid with the chilies and solids into the blender and blend on high until very smooth. Add the liquid back to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid until it is thick enough to coat the meat once you add it back in.
  12. Stir the meat back into the reduced liquid.
  13. To serve, spoon the shredded meat onto warmed or griddled corn or flour tortillas and top with the salsa. Eat as is, or add more toppings if you’d like. This meat and salsa combo also tastes fantastic on buttered toast. Enjoy!
Print Recipe

Article and photo courtesy of Harvesting Nature. Click here to subscribe to the quarterly Harvesting Nature magazine, And Click here to enjoy the latest episode of the wild fish and game podcast.

Check out a venison lasagna recipe on iSportsmanUSA.


Piscifun AD

More About Tactics


Redfish Fishing: A Quick & Easy Beginners Guide

May 17, 2024 iSportsman Staff


Giant Snapping Turtles: Everything You Need to Know

May 14, 2024 Connor Merritt


Nightcrawlers and Earthworms: Your Guide for Fishing Success

May 10, 2024 iSportsman Staff


Bone Broth 101: A Wild Game Best-Kept Secret

April 29, 2024 iSportsman Staff

View All