People say that kids change you, but at the beginning of this adventure, I thought I’d be the one that primarily did the molding. Instead, they have changed quite a few of my likes and dislikes over the years. I never knew how much I’d love soccer, until my kids loved it first. I look at TikTok videos more than I ever thought I would. I read more sci-fi and fantasy, and watch a LOT more sports movies.
But my oldest kid’s longest and most enduring passion has always been hunting. And to be honest… I have struggled to get behind a freezer absoutely FULL of venison.
He never turns down an opportunity. He goes when it is hot or cold, early in the morning or all afternoon, every day he can. Deer or duck. Shotgun, rifle, or (his favorite) bow hunting from a tree stand. Yesterday, he chose the last day of gun season over the Saints game. (His hunt went better than the game). And since he’s a pretty decent shot, we end up with a LOT of venison.
And other than deer tacos and venison chili, there wasn’t much that didn’t taste “gamey.” But then, my brother recommended a John Besh recipe for a bone-in should roast, and y’all. It’s good. Like really, really good.
- 4 Tablespoons bacon drippings OR 2 Tablespoons each, butter and olive oil
- 1 3-4 pound bone-in venison shoulder (can also use a chuck roast or other beef roast)
- 2 medium onions, diced small
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
- 6 oz. tomato paste
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- Preheat your oven to 275.
- Salt the venison generously on all sides. Make sure it’s completely thawed.
- On the stove top in a Dutch oven or other heavy, oven-safe pot, heat the bacon drippings (or butter/ olive oil combo) until hot but not smoking (test using a drop of water — it should sizzle).
- Brown the venison on all sides, approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
- Reduce the heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, until they turn a “rich mahogany color.”
- Add the garlic and tomato paste, stir well, and cook another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the flour, stir well, and cook another 2-3 minutes.
- Slowly add the beef broth, a little at a time, and whisk to combine to avoid lumps.
- Add the red wine and Worchestershire and bring to a boil.
- Add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and venison.
- Cover tightly and place in the oven. Bake for one hour per pound of meat (approximately). This roast was a little over 3 pounds and I cooked it for about 3 1/2 hours.
- Remove from the oven and test with a fork. The meat should easily pull away from the bone. If it does not, put it back in the oven for 20-30 minutes and try again.
- When the roast is done, remove it to a cutting board and shred the meat using two forks. Then place it back in the pot to warm.
- Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, egg noodles, or grits.
- Enjoy with your favorite hunter!