Shanks (the lower part of the leg) have a lot of sinew and connective tissue so there really isn't a lot you can do to make them tender or tasty. So they usually get ground up into burger. Nothing braises quite like a shank, whether it be lamb, beef, veal or, in this case, venison, but if you are short on actual prep time, a marinade makes a good alternative. For the hunters out there, we all know that we really shouldn't’t waste the shanks of the deer, elk or antelope we shoot and with the right prep you can get a tasty supper. Prep is the key. Muscles that get a lot of work, though tough as all get out, are full of flavor.
A proper marinade is easy, and will help to break down the connection tissue into a silky coating that will tenderize and sweeten the meat. Add in a little spice and some savory bacon. . . .
I made this a weekend or two ago, and it was a hit.
Bacon Wrapped Venison Shanks
2 lbs venison shank per person. For each add:
3 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups soy sauce
Wrap the shank in uncooked Bacon. You may use more than 1/2 a pound, just make sure the shank is covered, securing it as needed with a toothpick or two.
Place on center rack in oven and bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. This should cook the meat to about rare. If you want it more cooked, even with the searing step that follows, add 5-10 minutes. This is a naturally tough piece of meat so leaning towards rare will give you the better cut and taste.