Venison Stock

Back to Basics with Venison Stock


Using the entire animal is a rewarding end to a long and difficult hunt. Deer bones are ideal for stock, which can be key to delicious home-cooked meals. Venison stock makes a great foundation for all sorts of belly warming winter soup and stew recipes, a delicious demi-glace over some homemade gnocchi, or a fantastic gravy. Stock can be made with a variety of animal bones and ingredients. The process is more of an art than a precise recipe. Simmer your stock on the stove top or, if you have a pressure cooker tucked away, use it. It’s a great option for speeding up the process.

Photography By Bethany Goodrich | November 14, 2017

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • Cleaned venison bones from 1 to 2 deer (moose or caribou works, too)
  • 2 tablespoons salt 2 to 3 onions, roughly chopped
  • Cloves from a whole head of garlic, smashed
  • 12 to 16 ounces of beer, wine, or water for deglaizng
  • 2 pounds carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 head of celery, roughly chopped
  • Herbs of your choice; try parsley, basil, cilantro, rosemary (you can keep the stems attached)
  • To add a bit of umami to your stock add the rinds of hard cheeses, fresh or dried mushrooms and ⁄ or 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Dried spices of your choice. We used 1 tablespoon rosemary and 1 teaspoon each black peppercorns and sage, and . teaspoon each of cayenne, thyme, and anise seeds
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Preparation

Heat oven to 400° F. Rub bones with oil and season with salt. Place bones, garlic, and onions in a large pan and roast for 3 to 4 hours. You’re looking for the bones to turn a deep, dark brown.

Transfer bones, onions, garlic, and juices to your pressure cooker (or stock pot). You may need to break up some of the larger bones to maximize space and fill the bottom of the cooker. The goal is to use as little water as possible while still completely submerging the bones.

Pour beer, wine, or water into the empty, but still hot, roasting pan and use a spatula to scrape up and remove all the delicious bits stuck to the bottom. Add the deglazing liquid and tasty bits to the pot. Add water (about five quarts) to cover the bones, but don’t add any more salt until the very end of the process so you can adequately taste and adjust.

If you are cooking on the stovetop: bring to a simmer and let bones cook for about 3 hours. Add the rest of your ingredients and simmer one hour more.

If you are using a pressure cooker: add the remainder of your vegetables, herbs, spices, vinegar, and any other ingredients (like mushrooms or cheese rind) then cook for 60 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure.

When done, carefully remove the large bones, then pour the mixture through a sieve into another pot or directly into mason jars or other storage containers. At this point you can also simmer the stock, uncovered, to reduce it and concentrate flavors.

Let the broth cool and, if desired, remove the layer of fat. Taste and consider adding additional salt. If you’re freezing the stock be sure to leave about 1 inch of room on the top of the jars/containers to prevent cracking.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • Cleaned venison bones from 1 to 2 deer (moose or caribou works, too)
  • 2 tablespoons salt 2 to 3 onions, roughly chopped
  • Cloves from a whole head of garlic, smashed
  • 12 to 16 ounces of beer, wine, or water for deglaizng
  • 2 pounds carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 head of celery, roughly chopped
  • Herbs of your choice; try parsley, basil, cilantro, rosemary (you can keep the stems attached)
  • To add a bit of umami to your stock add the rinds of hard cheeses, fresh or dried mushrooms and ⁄ or 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Dried spices of your choice. We used 1 tablespoon rosemary and 1 teaspoon each black peppercorns and sage, and . teaspoon each of cayenne, thyme, and anise seeds
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
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