A sustainable and ethical choice for you for your next slow-cooked feast

If you want a more sustainable meal, then venison osso buco is a great choice.

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hrs 
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Ideal for: family, crowd-pleaser, weekend lunch/dinner

What is Osso Buco?

Osso buco is an Italian dish that traditionally braises veal shanks. 

It originates in Milan.

And is an Italian phrase that basically means a bone with a hole in it or a cross-cut shank or shin of a young calf.

The cross-cut veal shank has a marrow hole at the centre which gives lovely lush flavours to the stew.

Traditionally, the braising liquid is some combination of wine and stock, and the veal may or may not be browned in flour first.

It’s slow-cooked for hours so the meat gets fork-tender.

Then to serve, they add gremolata (a mixture of chopped lemon peel, parsley, and garlic) as the garnish.

However, I’m using venison osso buco.

There are loads of different versions of osso buco.

But they all give you the same thing.

And that’s a hearty dish, full of rich flavour and tender meat.

But venison is a great sustainable meat on top of that.

Is venison very ‘gamey’ in flavour

I’ve tried a lot of game.

And I really wanted to like it especially as it is usually a more sustainable way to eat meat.

But I struggle with that ‘gamey’ flavour.

It’s often too rich and strong for me.

However, venison has proven me wrong, thankfully.

I found this venison osso buco dish, delicate and flavoursome.

Not gamey.

And it was wild deer that I had bought.

So, don’t believe the ‘gamey’ myth with venison.

It’s really worth a go.

Venison osso buco

This recipe is such an easy, hands-off, low and slow cook.

My favourite method.

And the final flourish is serving it with risotto Milanese aka saffron risotto.

Its creamy, decadent texture and flavour are perfect with venison.

And risotto isn’t hard to make, check out this post on how to make great risotto.

And here for saffron risotto.

Off course, if you don’t have saffron, try a mushroom risotto.

The beauty of risotto with this dish, is the lovely sauce is mixes in with the risotto when serving.

It’s utterly delicious and satisfying.

Venison Osso buco risotto alla Milanese

Venison: the ultimate sustainable meat

Wild venison is probably one of the most ethical and sustainable choices.

It’s seasonal so from September to April. 

According to The British Deer Society, there are probably more deer in the UK now than for the past 1,000 years.

And these populations need to be managed to keep numbers in balance with the environment.

There are concerns that too many wild deer will negatively impact the environment.

Therefore, making sure deer are at sustainable levels is important in the battle to fight climate change.

Even when they’re farmed, they’re always free-range and pasture-fed and are not intensively produced.

So, get more sustainable and try venison.

Why is venison good for me?

1. High in Protein, Low in Fat
Venison is an excellent source of protein.

Not only is low-fat, but its levels of saturated fat are much lower than in other red meats.

2. Zero Carbs and Low-Calorie
Deer meat is free of carbohydrates and contains fewer calories than beef or even chicken breast.

3. Low in Sodium
Venison is naturally low in sodium.

4. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Including: iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Plus, vitamins B6 and B12, riboflavin, niacin and thiamin.


Recipeinspired by: Great Itlaian Chefs

The Guardian

Venison Osso Buco

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost £


  • 4 pieces of venison osso buco aka cross-cut shank (wild deer or ethically farmed deer)
  • flour, seasoned with salt and pepper – to dust the meat with
  • olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 garlic cloved, sliced
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 500 ml white wine
  • 1 litre chicken stock (hot)
  • salt and pepper for seasoning


  • On a large plate, dust the venison pieces with seasoned flour.
  • In a large casserole dish, over high heat, add a splash of oil and fry the venison pieces until nice and browned (don't over-crowd them in the pan so maybe do in batches).
    Please them on a plate and set aside.
  • Turn the heat down and add a little more oil then the onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Season and cook until soft – approx. 5 mins.
    Add the thyme, bay leaf and tomato purée and stir for a further 2 minutes
  • Return the venison to the casserole dish and pour in the wine. Reduce by a third then add the hot stock.
    Simmer for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender
  • Serve with saffron risotto or creamy mash.


Recipe inspired by Great Italian Chefs