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Slow cooked venison shoulder recipe

Slow cooked venison shoulder is the perfect warmer after a cold day on the pigeons and José Souto explains how best to maximise flavour. Serves six.

slow cooked venison

Slow cooked venison shoulder with peppers and beans


  • 1 shoulders of venison, bone-in (in this case a small fallow)
  • Light olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 4 romano peppers, sliced
  • 2 glasses of white wine
  • 4 fresh plum tomatoes skinned, de-seeded, coarsely diced
  • Sprig of rosemary
  • 1 litre game or good chicken stock
  • 1 large tin of baked beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Season and pan-fry the shoulder to seal. If it won’t fit in your pan, make a cut in each of the muscles so that you can fold it up. Remove from the pan.
  2. Turn the heat down and, in the same pan, fry the finely diced onions and garlic in oil for a couple of minutes without colour. Add the finely chopped chilli and half the sliced peppers.
  3. Cook for two more minutes, then turn up the flame and add the wine, reducing it by half. Add the two tins of chopped tomatoes, the rosemary and the chicken stock and bring to the boil.
  4. Place the shoulder back in the pan, the liquid just covering it, and bring the sauce to the boil. Cover with foil or a lid and place into the oven at 160°C for 2½ hours.
  5. After 2½ hours, test the meat. It should be tender and falling off the bone. When it is, remove from the oven and take the shoulder out of the sauce.
  6. Stir the rest of the peppers, baked beans and the chopped, fresh tomatoes into the sauce. Return to the oven, uncovered, for another 30 minutes at 180°C.
  7. Remove from the oven, take the joint out of the sauce and reduce to the required consistency. The meat should pull away from the bone easily so that it can be portioned and served with lashings of the rich pepper and bean sauce.

More on slow cooked venison shoulder

All the joints from the front end of a deer are what we in the culinary world call second-class cuts. They tend to need more cooking than others as they do more work, which makes them tougher than, say, the loins or haunch.

These joints are perfect, though, for winter warmers; the sort of thing we all look forward to after a brisk cold day in the field, on the pigeons or stalking perhaps. These dishes bubble away in the slow cooker, infusing flavour and slowly tenderising. There is something about certain dishes that gives you satisfaction and fulfilment at the end of a day’s shooting.

The shoulder cooked on the bone not only gives you a great meal but the bone adds to the richness in the sauce. Most of us use the shoulder for mince or dice it, but this recipe is cooked on the bone to give you a presentation joint to serve at the end of a wintery day.

This recipe for slow cooked venison shoulder can also be cooked on a barbecue or a wood-fired pizza oven — seal the joint on the grill or in a very hot oven first — in a covered dish. Take the cover off towards the end of the cooking time to ensure the meat and sauce take up the smoky flavour. This dish is guaranteed to have everyone coming back for more. Enjoy with a full-bodied red wine.