I love slow-cooked meat, casseroles, pork belly, and especially shanks on a cold winter night. It’s the ideal food to warm the soul and give you sustenance during the cold and flu season. The other great thing is that once you’ve got them into the oven you can sit back and relax in front of the fire with a wine knowing all the while that a delicious hearty meal will be ready come tea time.
Usually I go for lamb shanks but I decided to mix things up this time and use venison for its gamey flavour. You can always use lamb but you might want to double the amount of shanks you use as the venison is larger.
Juniper berries (click here for more information) add an interesting zing to the flavour; traditionally they are used to produce gin so expect some gin-like flavours. They have a tendency to get bitter so either add in the flavour sachet midway through the braising or take it out midway. If you find the cooking liquor has taken on some bitterness, add in some brown sugar; a teaspoon of it usually does the trick.
It goes great with pumpkin chilli mash (my next post)