Black Bear Osso Buco: Wild Game Recipe
Serves 4 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 3-6 hours
Osso Buco is an Italian dish typically made from calf shanks. It is a great way to utilize any wild game shank. This cut of meat is often removed from the bone and tossed in with other muscle groups and processed into ground burger. The Osso Buco preparation allows you to turn a lesser cut of meat into a flavorful meal, you'll likely never process a shank into ground meat again after trying it.
While processing the animal cut the shank completely around the bone with a knife, then using a bone saw cut the shank into 3 to 5 inch thick segments. Rise to remove and bone residue and pat dry. Remove and excessive silver skin around the edges and clean or remove any portions of meat that may be dirty or discolored just as you would with any other cut of meat. At this point it is important to tie the shank with butcher's twine to prevent the meat from falling apart during the cooking process.
Cook time will vary greatly depending on the animal. Patience is key. Low temps and lots of time literally dissolve the connective tissues between the many individual muscles in the shank and reduce the otherwise dense meat into a soft shreddable roast, much the way slow cooking a rib loosens it from the bone. Don't rush it.
In our household we always serve Osso Buco with rice of some sort. Its quick, easy, tastes great, and gives you something to pour the remaining, incredibly flavorful, sauce on top of. We made this version with Black Bear shanks (Oso Bearco). Elk, deer, or any other other meaty wild game shanks will work just fine.
2 large crosscut shanks or 4 small
Gluten Free Flour (dusting)
Olive oil (cover bottom of pan)
1 ½ cups carrots
1 ½ cups celery
1 ½ cups yellow onion
1 ½ cups mushrooms
1 quart chicken broth
2 cups white wine
2 tbsp. lemon juice
24oz diced tomatoes
6oz tomato paste
3 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried rosemary
4 bay leaves
1 cup red wine
¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
4 fresh sage leaves
Tie the shanks with butcher's twine then salt and dust with flour. Add Olive oil to a large pot and brown the shanks on all sides. This should take 10-12 minutes. Removed the shanks and set aside.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms and saute until slightly caramelized, roughly 6-8 minutes. Salt as they cook.
Add the white wine and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Once the wine boils, pour in broth, lemon juice, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and dried herbs. Return the shanks to the pot and submerge them in the sauce. Cover and simmer for 3-6 hours.
After 3 hours or so you'll want to periodically check the shanks to see it the meat has become tender. Once it is easily pulled away, add the red wine and fresh herds to the pot. Simmer another 15-20 minutes.
Serve along side herb and butter rice or with garlic bread and garnish with parsley