Wild Recipes

Venison Shank Grinder

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Venison shanks are not always the highest on everyone’s list of prized cuts to come out of the field but, in my opinion, they should be. The very thing that turns people off from the shanks is what makes them so good; the extra tough layers of silver skin and connective tissue once cooked down becomes silky and tender. Even the toughest cuts will eventually surrender to time and pressure and shanks are no exception. Shanks will need more time and care to get to the tender point but stewed, braised or barbecued, the richness this cut provides is well worth the effort. That’s why I am confident this often discarded cut will become one of your favorites in no time.


  • Venison Shank
  • Rub/Spice Blend (in this case, MeatEater Hickory Bourbon Rub)
  • Sharp Swiss cheese
  • Kale
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Cherry Peppers
  • Whole Grain Mustard
  • Vienna roll
  • German Pilsner (in this case Becks)

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  • Liberally coat the shanks in your meat rub of choice.
  • Give them a hard sear on the grill until browned.
  • Now place the shanks in a roasting pan along with a shot of German Pilsner and cover.
  • Continue to cook on the grill over indirect heat until the meat becomes tender. This is not a pulled or shredded preparation, you will notice the meat become tender and separated from the bone before it will be cooked to the point of shredding.
  • Once your shank meat is tender, remove the meat from the bone and slice into strips.
  • Deglaze your roasting pan with another shot of beer and place the bones and sliced shank meat back into the pan and cover.
  • Now take out a single sandwich portion of meat at a time to finish on a flat top or frying pan. Take this time to caramelize each portion of meat basting with the deglaze from the roasting pan. To finish, place a thick slice of sharp Swiss cheese over the top and cover with a lid or metal bowl to aid in the melting process.
  • Slice up your Vienna roll and grill on both sides. Dress your roll with whole grain mustard, a smattering of the shank pan deglaze, tomato, kale, romaine lettuce, and cherry peppers.
  • Once the Swiss cheese has fully melted onto your shank meat remove it from the heat and pile high top of your prepared roll.
  • Slice your grinder in half and pair with some fresh kettle chips and your beverage of choice.

Dan Renna

Dan lives his life with his wife on a small homestead in Western MA where he raises livestock, hunts, and farms to fill their pantries and freezer. He balances family, work, and life, but also maintains the connection to his food and its origins.

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