Venison Shank on a Cannellini Bean and Fennel Stew Recipe

So this must be the biggest shank I have ever seen it was whopping 775g it was more like a shoulder joint! I like lamb shanks but venison shanks are something else they have amazing flavour and are so lean so you get much more meat and no fat. This means it stops the stew becoming oily. Venison has a very light gamey flavour so it is a really good game to try if your new to it. As it has been so cold I really fancied something comforting and I came across a similar recipe from the hairy bikers. It worked so well and the meat just fell off the bone. The beans and fennel tasted delicious and it is a nice fuss free dinner. I learnt a tip for peeling tomatoes a while ago, you just make a cross in the bottom lightly with a knife, pour over boiling water and leave until cool enough to handle. The skins just peel off really easily.

Ingredients (serves 2, easy to serve 4 by using extra shanks)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium venison or lamb shanks
  • 3 banana shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 fennel bulbs, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1tbsp tomato purée (I use sun dried)
  • A small tin of anchovies, drained and diced
  • 250ml white wine
  • 1ltr lamb or chicken stock or water
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, peeled and deseeded
  • 1 tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (410g)
  • Flaked sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish, brown the shank(s) on all sides, then remove them from the pan and set aside. Add the onion, carrots and fennel to the dish and cook them over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until they’re browning round the edges.
  2. Add the garlic, thyme, chilli, smoked paprika and bay leaf and stir, then add the tomato purée and anchovies. Stir again, then pour in the white wine. Bring to the boil, then reduce by half.
  3. Preheat the oven to 150°C fan. Return the shanks to the casserole, then pour over the stock or water. Bring to the boil, then put a lid on the dish and place it in the oven. Cook for 1½ hours, then add the tomatoes and cannellini beans and season.
  4. Cook for another hour until the shank(s) are very tender. The sauce should be quite well reduced. If you want to reduce it further, boil on the hob for a few minutes. Pull the meat off the bone if your using one large shank. Spoon the bean mixture between 2 serving bowl and top with meat. Enjoy.

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