Venison Shoulder Chops – Prepared Pot Roast Style
Recipe and photos by Chris Jodlowski of Harvesting Nature
When the hunt is over and it’s time to butcher, save yourself some time and aggravation by keeping your venison shoulders bone-in. Cross cutting a shoulder with a band saw, a meat saw, a hack saw or even a sawzall will give you bone-in chuck steaks that, with a few hours in a braise, turn from tough chunks destined for the grind into fork-tender, fall off the bone pot roast. Using white wine instead of the typical red in the braising liquid, turns this from a stew-like “gravy with meat” into a more of a meat-centric dish with a slightly lighter accompanying gravy. You can replace potatoes with the rutabaga, then serve on a pile of smashed spuds.
One venison shoulder, cut into 1” thick bone-in steaks
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup all purpose flour, divided in two
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
3 stalks of celery, cut into ¼” pieces
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2” pieces
1 small rutabaga cut into ¾” cubes
2 parsnips, cut into 1” pieces
½ lb brown mushrooms, sliced
2 cups of dry white wine (I use Sauvignon Blanc)
1 quart of venison or beef stock
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.
In a heavy Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-low heat.
Season both sides of each chop with salt and pepper, dust with half the flour and place in the hot oil. When the one side is well browned, turn to brown the other side. When both sides of each chop are browned, remove to a plate and cover.
Add the onion, celery, carrots, thyme, rosemary and the other half of the flour to the Dutch oven. Scrape the brown bits from the meat from the bottom of the pot and mix into the vegetables. When the onion begins to soften, add the parsnips and rutabaga, stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
Fit the chops into the pot on top of the vegetables, then spread the mushrooms over the meat. Add the wine and stock to cover the meat. Cover the pot and put it in the oven. After a couple hours, check the meat by inserting a fork and giving a twist. If the meat comes apart easily, it’s done. If not, give it another hour.
Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon, then place the uncovered pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the sauce down to a thickness you’re happy with. If need be, thicken by mixing in a little flour and milk slurry (This is made by combining 1 tablespoon of flour whisked into ½ cup of milk, then whisk the mixture into the boiling sauce.)
I like to serve this over smashed potatoes. Spoon potatoes onto a plate or into a shallow bowl, spoon gravy and vegetables over the smashed potatoes, and place one of the chops on top of it all.
More about Chris: Chris Jodlowski is a husband, dad, hunter, fisherman, outdoorsman, cook and writer. He can be found wandering New York’s Hudson Valley and beyond in constant pursuit of wild and local things to eat and new ways to cook them, living his belief that the very best food is local food. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his boys, teaching them self-reliance and sharing with them the joy of sitting down to a well-earned meal. Along with his wife and sons, he shares his piece of the world with a dog, cats, rabbits, chickens and a pair of freeloading goats. Currently Chris is a Field Staff Writer for http://harvestingnature.com/.