Venison Osso Buco (Slow Cooker)

Osso buco is a classic Italian dish that is typically made with veal.

However, osso buco can also be made with venison.

Osso buco literally translates to the bone with a hole. The name comes from the cut of meat which is the shank.

The shank is usually cut into 1.5-2 inch pieces. Once the shank is cut it exposes the inside of the bone, which is filled with bone marrow.

After cooking the bone marrow melts into the dish to enrich it with flavor, leaving a hole in the bone, hence the name osso buco (bone with hole).

Ingredients For Venison Osso Buco

Venison Osso Buco

Venison osso buco is a flavorful yet simple dish that uses very few ingredients.

Typical ingredients use tomatoes, celery, carrot, onion, and garlic.

Herbs used are bay leaves and thyme.

Two key ingredients of this dish are stock and wine.

I use my venison stock for this recipe, but beef or lamb stock will also work.

If you are using store-bought stock make sure it is low-sodium stock.

Traditionally osso buco is made using white wine, but I use red wine for this dish.

As I mentioned above osso buco is traditionally made using veal shanks, which are very mild in flavor.

Venison is a much stronger flavor than veal and the taste would overpower the white wine, which is why red wine is a more suitable option.

Red wine has been creeping into more and more osso buco recipes as people typically use beef or lamb shanks, which are also stronger flavored than veal.

Cooking Venison Osso Buco

Venison Osso Buco

Osso buco is generally braised for around 4 hours, and I’ve made it this way numerous times.

However, my go-to for making osso buco now is the slow cooker

It adds about two hours to the recipe but requires less monitoring, and keeps things clean and tidy.

  1. First coat the shanks in flour with a little salt and pepper
  2. Brown the shanks in a cast iron pan and deglaze the pan with wine
  3. Add the shanks to the slow cooker along with all of the other ingredients
  4. Pour over the wine
  5. Cooke on low for 6 hours

What to Serve With Venison Osso Buco

Venison Osso Buco

While the venison is cooking you can make up a side to serve with the osso buco.

As you may already have gathered by now, osso buco is a very traditional dish, and the traditional recipe calls for it to be served with risotto.

However, seeing that we have already swayed from tradition you are free to use some other great alternatives such as polenta, or mashed potato.

I generally use polenta or risotto. However, the traditional risotto uses a saffron infusion, which I find gets lost on the venison.

Once plated top the osso buco with a gremolata made from minced garlic, grated lemon zest, and chopped flat-leaf parsley.

Venison Osso Buco

Venison Osso Buco (Slow Cooker)

This version of venison osso buco utilizes the slow cooker to make a delightfully flavorful velvety dish
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Wild Game
Keyword: Venison
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Servings: 4
Author: Rusty


  • 2 Venison Shanks See note 1
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 13 oz tinned tomatoes san marzano
  • 250 ml Dry red wine
  • 250 ml venison stock
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup clour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp kosher salt crushed
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper crushed


  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 rind from lemon minced
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley chopped


  • Add the flour and half the sslt and pepper to a large container and toss the cut venison shanks to coat evenly all over
  • Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat and add the olive oil
  • Shake any excess flour off of the shanks and place them on the cast iron pan. Place about 3 pieces at a time and turn frequently to brown all over
  • Once browned remove the shanks and rest on a wooden block. Using butchers twine tie the shank to ensure it holds together while cooking.
  • Pour the wine into the cast iron pan and scrape with a wooden spoon to deglaze.
  • Place the shanks into the slow cooker and pour over the wine
  • Add all of the other ingredients and place the lid on top. Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours, turing the shanks at the 3 hour mark

Gremolata For Venison Shanks

  • Add the garlic, lemon rind ad parsley to a bowl and mix.
  • Set the mixture in the fridge while the osso buco cooks


  1. The venison shanks should be cut into 3. It's best to do this while the venison is frozen, alternatively use a sharp knife to cut through the meat to the bone, and then use a saw to cut the bone.

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