Wild Recipes

Citrus Smoked Venison Shanks


We have been preparing a lot of shank recipes lately and I am happy to do so. The shanks are a great cut of meat if prepared with care. They can be braised, smoked, and even grilled. This specific recipe is based upon a smoked lamb shank recipe that I tweaked to better suit venison and antelope.

The combination of smoking and braising allows the meat to capture the smoke while also adding moisture to help out with the leanness of the venison. The resulting braising liquid is amazing because it absorbs all flavors of the meat, citrus, and smoke.

Serving Size: 2-4

Time to make: 3-4 hours

Special Equipment: Smoker, Baking Dish

Also works with: Antelope or Wild Pork Shank

Beer/Wine Pairing:  Stout Beer or Cabernet Sauvignon


2 Venison Shanks

¼ cup water

2 tbsp oil


1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp garlic powder

Zest of 1 orange

Zest of 1 lemon

Braising Liquid

1 cup wild game stock (sub pork stock)

1 small bunch of thyme

4 garlic cloves, smashed

1 tbsp Traeger Sweet and Heat BBQ Sauce

Sautéed Mushrooms

Prepared Creamy Polenta

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How to make it:

  1. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees.
  2. While waiting, add oil and water to a metal baking dish. Combine the ingredients for your rub and coat the shanks. Place seasoned shanks inside the dish.
  3. Once the smoker is preheated, add the pan with shanks to the smoker
  4. Allow the shanks to cook for approximately 1 hour until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees.
  5. Combine the ingredients for the braising liquid and add to the pan
  6. Allow the shanks to cook at 225 degrees for an additional hour with the braising liquid.
  7. After the 1 hour, raise the temperature to 250 degrees and cook until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees which should take approximately 1 hour.
  8. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and then shred meat from bone. Reserve the braising liquid for sauce
  9. Serve the shredded meat atop the polenta with the sautéed mushrooms and braising liquid added.

Justin Townsend

Justin (Choctaw) is an avid hunter, angler, and chef whose passion for the outdoors lead him to create Harvesting Nature in 2011. He continues to hunt, fish, and cook all while sharing his experiences with others through film, podcasts, print, and with recipes. He also proudly serves in the United States Coast Guard.

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