Susan's Recipes

Braised Shoulder of Venison with White Beans

Serves 6 to 8


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 carrots, cut in 1 inch chunks
  • A 7 pound shoulder of venison, boned and tied (should be about 5 pounds of meat)
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 pound of pork fat sheets (may substitute bacon)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 cups beef stock, fresh or canned
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • Bouquet garni of 4 parsley sprigs, 1 leek (white part plus 2 inches of green) and 1 bay leaf, tied together
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 & 1/2 quarts water
  • 2 cups dry white beans (navy beans or great northern white)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a heavy oven proof casserole, just large enough to hold the venison, melt 4 tablespoons butter over moderate heat. Cook the carrots and onions, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are just starting to color.
  2. Meanwhile, make incisions all over the venison shoulder and insert little slices of garlic in each one. Heat the oil almost to the smoking point in a heavy skillet and brown the venison all over. Put the browned venison in the casserole on top of the vegetables. Drape sheets of pork fat over the top of the roast.
  3. Pour the wine into the skillet in which the venison browned and boil it briskly, stirring and scraping in any bits that cling to the bottom and sides of the pan, until it has reduced to one cup. Add the beef stock, tomatoes, bouquet garni, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and a few grinding of pepper. Return to a boil. Pour the stock over the venison. Bring the casserole to a boil on top of the range and drape a sheet of aluminum foil over the venison. Cover the casserole tightly and cook in the lower third of the oven, regulating the heat so that it simmers slowly, for 3 hours or until the venison is fork tender.
  4. While the venison braises, bring 1 & 1/2 quarts of water to a boil in a heavy 4 to 6 quart pan. Drop the beans into the water and boil them briskly for 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, ad the rest of the slat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the beans, adding more water if necessary, for 1 to 1 & 1/2 hours, or just until they are tender. Drain the beans and set aside.
  5. When the venison is done, transfer it to a plate and strain the rest of the contents of the casserole through a fine sieve into a mixing bowl; press down hard on the vegetables and herbs before discarding them. Skim as much fat as is possible from the surface of the braising stock or sauce; taste and season it with salt and pepper if needed. Return the venison and the beans to the casserole and pour the strained sauce over them. heat the casserole of top the range until it comes to a simmer. To serve, carve the venison into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange the slices on a heated platter, spooning a little stock over them and sprinkling them with parsley. Drain the beans and serve them from the same platter or a heated bowl. Pass the remaining sauce separately in a gravy boat.

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