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Venison Osso Buco with Risotto and Gremolata Recipe

Canadian Chef Michael Hunter teaches how to cook venison shanks to fall-off-the-bone perfection.

Print Recipe

Venison Osso Buco takes advantage of a commonly wasted piece of a whitetail deer: the shanks. When cooked just right, Osso Buco not only presents itself as a beautiful dish but also delivers a tender off-the-bone steak that can't be matched by any other piece of wild meat. Take the time to cook this cut properly and you'll never look at a deer's skinny shanks the same again.

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours +

Recipe #1: Venison Osso Buco

After you pan fry the venison shanks, you'll put them in the oven to stew for a couple of hours. 


  • 2 pounds cut venison shanks*
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups venison or beef stock
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 ½ cups tomato sauce

*Tip: Use a reciprocating saw to cut the shanks horizontally, exposing the marrow.


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Season the venison shanks with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat your frying pan on high heat.
  4. Pan fry venison shanks on high heat in a little oil until caramelized on either side, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Then add your vegetables to the pan and sauté until the onions are translucent about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, cooking off the alcohol for 1 minute.
  7. Add the stock to the pan and then the tomato sauce. Add the herbs and bring to a simmer.
  8. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for about an hour and a half.
  9. Keep warm while making the risotto or cool and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  10. Reheat venison shanks in the oven when ready to eat.

Recipe #2: Risotto

Risotto is creamy, making it a great side dish for the Venison Osso Buco.
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 5 to 6 cups deer stock (substitute beef or chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt to taste


  1. Toast the rice in a little oil on high heat until and stir. The rice will appear caramelized and toasted light brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped shallot and celery. Sauté while stirring for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the wine and cook out for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the saffron. Then add the stock in stages while stirring.
  5. Cook until almost all the stock has been absorbed before adding more.
  6. Continue stirring and cooking until all the stock has been absorbed into the rice. The rice should be tender with a little firmness in the center, almost like an al dente pasta.
  7. Stir in the butter and parmesan cheese to finish. 


Recipe #3: Gremolata Garnish

Gremolata is a classic garnish for Osso Buco that is made of fresh herbs and lemon. It will add brightness and freshness to the dish.
  • 2 sprigs basil
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 1 sprig oregano
  • Zest of 1 lemon


  1. Chop all the ingredients and mix before garnishing the Venison Osso Buco and risotto, serve immediately.
Venison Osso Buco with Risotto and Gremolata Recipe
Voila! You're ready to serve a delicious homemade meal: Venison Osso Buco with Risotto and Gremolata.

About the Author: Michael Hunter

Michael Hunter is a Canadian-born professionally-trained chef, co-owner of Antler Kitchen & Bar, a hunter, forager, husband, and father. Hunter began cooking at the early age of thirteen and fell in love with food and the restaurant industry. Growing up on a horse farm, Hunter has a natural connection to nature. An honours graduate of the Humber College Apprenticeship Chef Program obtaining his Red Seal, he has worked for some of Canada’s top chefs and kitchens. In 2015, Hunter and Jody Shapiro opened the restaurant Antler Kitchen & Bar to great acclaim. Since then, Hunter has been invited to cook at culinary festivals around the world including the United States, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Russia, and Brazil. He lives in Toronto, Canada.

To learn more about Michael Hunter or to get your copy of "The Hunter Chef Cookbook," visit:

The Hunter Chef Cookbook
Michael Hunter's "The Hunter Chef Cookbook" features a collection of over 100 recipes and butchery guides.

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