This is a wonderful warming dish using a much underused cut – the shank.


  • 4 deer shanks – frozen
  • Olive oil- 4 fl oz
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 leek
  • 1.5 lb of heritage tomatoes
  • 1 can of passata
  • Rosemary stalk
  • 1 cup beef stock

For the Polenta

  • 1 lb dry fine polenta ( cornmeal)
  • ½ lb butter
  • 4 oz heavy cream
  • Big handful of chopped Italian parsley
  • 4 pints water
  • Salt


Start by sawing the shanks into 1 inch slices. You can use a home bandsaw or a handsaw if you let them thaw a bit. Or take them to a butcher to do.

Chop all the veg into ¼ pieces and smash the garlic.

Brown the shanks with oil over a grill or in a Traeger. Meanwhile pour a lot of really good extra virgin olive oil into a big sauté pan and soften all the veg until translucent. Pour in a glass of white wine and let it cook for a minute to push off the alcohol

Now add the rosemary, tomatoes and passata and simmer for 10 mins with the rosemary. Pour into a casserole dish and nestle the browned osso bucco in. Cover with a paper cartouche ( see programme) and slow cook at 140c / 300f for 3 hours in the oven. Check that the venison is tender then put aside to rest.

To cook the polenta – melt the butter and cream together. Boil the water with some salt in a big pan. Add the polenta stirring all the time. Stir for 5 minutes on a simmer until the water is absorbed and the polenta is smooth. Add the butter cream mix and stir well until it is not grainy. Add seasoning to taste and a handful of flat parsley.

Serve up in bowls with the osso bucco over the polenta – sprinkle liberal quantities of parsley over to finish.