Herb Crusted Rack of Venison, Venison Harissa Osso Bucco – Venison Recipes

These delicious venison dishes bring fall to your table.

It’s almost venison season y’all! Yes, I speak in food terms instead of hunting terms because let’s face it, we love what fall brings to our table. I’m a big advocate of knowing what you want to make with your harvest before you go into the field. Why? Well that helps you to butcher in ways that will give you the cuts and dishes you desire. Having a plan on how you would like to utilize the animal is one of the best things you can do. If you don’t have a culinary game plan before you enter the field, then you are subjected to dishes that are dictated by your processor, and there’s more to venison than ground meat and jerky. Like these beautiful dishes: an herb-crusted rack of venison and venison harissa osso bucco. Shanks are often the forgotten cuts that are truly delicious. And the ribs are often overlooked because of the prized backstrap. If you didn’t plan on making these dishes beforehand, chances are you might have just tossed these cuts away. These are definitely underutilized cuts, but after you make these recipes, you will forever change your mind. But best of all, you are using more of the animal. This is why having your culinary game plan is so important. 

Herb Crusted Rack of Venison

Servings: 8

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

When you really want to make a dish that is a show stopper, this is it! And the best thing is this dish is actually easy to make and doesn’t take much time to make. Perfect for holiday gatherings or celebrations or on those days when you just want to feel like a bad ass chef, this recipe is all about the venison and fresh herbs. So, feel free to make this your own and add different herbs to change it up. Want a Latin flare, try using cilantro, red pepper flakes, and a little red onion. And if you really want to go all out, smoke this rack on the grill!

Ingredients:

  • 21/2 to 3-pound rack of venison, frenched
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 5 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 small bunch of parsley, large stems removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, rough chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh sage, rough chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. whole grain Dijon mustard

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F°.
  2. Season the venison with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the grapeseed oil to a large cast iron pan set over high heat.
  4. When the pan is hot, sear the venison on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove the rack, and set on a baking sheet to cool.
  6. While the venison is cooling, in the bowl of a food processor combine the garlic, panko bread crumbs, parsley, chives, sage, rosemary, and parmesan cheese. Pulse the mixture until well combined and everything is in small pieces.
  7. Brush all sides of the venison rack with the Dijon mustard.
  8. Coat all sides with the breadcrumb mixture to create a thick crust. 
  9. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes.
  10. Once cooked, allow the venison rack to sit for 5 to 8 minutes before slicing.

Venison Harissa Osso Bucco

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Osso Bucco is definitely one of those classic Italian dishes that everyone loves! I mean what’s not to love? It’s rich, decadent, and comforting. I like to change the classic up a bit and use Harissa. Harissa is actually a Tunisian chili pepper paste that is made with roasted red peppers and a mixture of spices. It adds an element of heat and spice to this dish that I find utterly delicious. If you love spicy food, this is right up your alley. But if spice is not your thing, you can either reduce the quantity of Harissa or eliminate it, but I highly recommend adding some even if it’s only one teaspoon.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, small diced
  • 2 carrots, small diced
  • 2 celery stalks, small diced
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. Harissa
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • All-Purpose flour for dredging
  • 4 venison shanks
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 fresh bay leaf

Directions:

  1. In a large Dutch oven (6 to 8 qt.), heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Once the pot is hot add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook the vegetables until they are slightly brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes.
  2. Once the vegetables have cooked, add the tomato paste, harissa, and cinnamon to the pot and cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Place the flour in a bowl and lightly dredge the shanks in the flour. Place the shanks in the pan and increase the heat to high. Gently brown the shanks on the top and bottom for about 2 minutes on each side.
  4. After the shanks have browned, add the wine, beef stock, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf.
  5. Simmer on low to medium heat covered for about 11/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. 
  6. Serve with creamy polenta or mashed potatoes.

A Knife to Remember

MeatEater’s Steven Rinella and the Benchmade Knife Company have collaboratively designed the Meatcrafter Knife over the last 18 months. Together, they bring you the best boning, processing, and cooking knife available on the market. Every single Meatcrafter Knife is assembled, sharpened, and finished in the hands of trained cutlers at Benchmade’s factory in Oregon City, Oregon—all with materials sourced within the United States of America.

This is a serious knife designed specifically for handling wild game. It does come with a price ($300), but it is more than worth it. 

The granular level of sharpness and refinement of the blade are the result of the latest technologies available on the market today.

Here is the geek explanation: The knife uses high-grade S45VN stainless steel for its top-tier metallurgical properties such as excellent edge retention and corrosion resistance and combines that with a proprietary new process called Select EdgeTM.

Here it is for all to understand: This knife uses the finest and sharpest blade ever achieved in Benchmade’s 40-year history and probably anywhere on the market. 

This is among the first production knives using this metal and process. The edge is hand sharpened to a unique 14° angle, which Benchmade identified over their four decades in the premium knife business as ideal for push-cut performance. That means this blade will slice through meat with little more than a gentle push.

The “trailing point” blade style marries the precision and flex of a fillet knife with the strength and maneuverability of a boning knife. The result is a fine tip that can work a sirloin free from the femur, a narrow blade width for paring silverskin from muscle, and the overall burliness to slice cleanly through a thick round roast.

“This knife is meant to stay with you and serve you for the rest of your life. We’d like to think you’ll pass it down as an heirloom to your children and grandchildren to follow.” 

– Steven Rinella, MeatEater

For more details and to order: benchmade.com