Patience is key when braising tough cuts of meat like the neck of a deer.
Neck meat has become one of my favorite cuts from the game animals we’ve been fortunate to harvest. We try our best to remove the entire neck muscle all the way down to the windpipe while field dressing. You never realize how much meat there is until you choose to grind it or serve it up like I do in this braised venison neck recipe.
A keeper for sure.
Ground neck meat is just as flavorful as the whole neck, but you tend to lose a lot of the meat during processing of the game animal. Saving the neck in its entirety yields a higher percentage of edible greatness. I usually divide this chunk of meat into halves because it will easily feed up to 4-6 people at one sitting. Again, this is all dependent on the size of the animal and the size and weight of the muscle.
Before cooking the neck, be sure to wash it off removing any dirt or other debris that can get stuck to the exterior. After cleaning, let the meat sit in a colander in the fridge for a few days to dry up a bit before you get ready to cook.
I braised this venison neck with wine but the kicker was hints of cinnamon 30 minutes prior to serving. Patience is important anytime you cook these specific cuts, but if you can stand to wait, your harvest will be celebrated with each and every appetizing bite.
Wine Braised Venison Neck
- 1 Half Boneless Venison Neck, washed and dried
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp granulated garlic powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 4 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups red wine, cabernet or merlot
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- green onions, chopped for garnish (optional)
- parsley, chopped for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set the venison neck on a plate and coat lightly with the seasoned flour.
- Heat a 6 to 7 Quart Cast Iron Dutch oven pot over medium heat and add oil. When the oil is warmed, carefully add the floured meat to the pot and brown, about 5 minutes. Turn the meat over and brown, for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the meat and set aside on a plate.
- Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic and cook until the onions soften, about 7-8 minutes. (If you partially cover with the lid, the vegetables will soften more quickly.) Pour the beef broth and wine into the pot stirring to loosen up all the stuck-on browned bits. Finish by adding the neck meat back into the post along with the tomato paste and 2 bay leaves.
- Cover with the lid, leaving just a small opening to allow for the steam to release while cooking. Carefully place the pot in the oven and cook for 6-7 hours. The longer you braise the meat the more time it will have to breakdown all the connective tissues that run throughout the neck. Baste the meat every two hours during the cooking time. You may find that you need to add more liquid if needed. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add a whole cinnamon stick to the pot.
- Carefully remove the meat from the pot and shred on a cutting board. Serve the braised venison over mashed potatoes and cover with the gravy. Garnish with diced green onions and parsley.
- Baste the meat every two hours during cooking.
- You may need to add more liquid if needed during cooking.
- If your meat is not soft enough to easily shred after 6 hours, continue cooking and check every 30 minutes until done.
- Instead of using the oven, you can cook this dish in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. Follow all steps including browning the meat and cooking vegetables then transfer everything to a slow cooker finishing with the tomato paste and bay leaves.