Whole Shoulder Venison Pot Roast


Deer season has come to an end and cold weather is here. This is when I bring out the slow cooker and get to cooking whole cuts of meat. One of the best cuts of meat in my opinion, is the deer shoulder and shank. These cuts offer up endless possibilities in regards to slow cooking…the meat will literally “fall off the bone”. Whenever I do a shoulder pot roast usually the first reaction I get is, “it tastes just like beef”. I take that as a compliment and feel accomplished but a small part of me has a problem with that statement. By majority accounts, that cattle was not domesticated until around 8,000 years ago. I am no historian but common sense tells me that the first domesticated cattle were far from the tender and juicy black angus and kobe beef we have today. It is easy to assume that even those cattle had what we would consider a gamey taste to the meat. But enough of the history lesson, we all know that humans have been eating venison and many species of animals since we came into existence; so wouldn’t it make more sense that we use the taste of venison as the standard? I am going to make it my prerogative the next time I am at a steakhouse enjoying a ribeye that when the waitress/waiter asks me, “How is your steak?”, I will reply by saying “Great! It tastes just like venison!”. I cannot wait to see their reaction.

Here is the recipe that I use for Venison Shoulder:

  • 1 whole venison shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  •  1 packet of ranch seasoning mix
  •  1 packet of Au Jus gravy mix
  •  1/2 of a 16 ounce jar of pepperoncini’s (including liquid)
  •  1 stick of butter (salted or unsalted depending on sodium preference)
  •  Pour in beef stock until 1/2 to 3/4 of the shoulder is submerged
  •  1 cup of your choice of red wine

Cooking time all depends on your schedule and the size of the cut of meat. If you want to prepare, and turn the cooker on as your leaving for work, then set it on low and let it go 8-10 hours. For me, I am usually able to come home to eat lunch. I will put everything in the pot then, set it on high and by the time I return 6-7 hours later it is perfect. Finally, reach in and grab the bone and feel the satisfaction of the meat sliding off. Sides for this meal are endless and up to you.


Last modified: January 27, 2020