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RECIPE: SPRING VENISON FORESHANK AND VEGETABLE BRAISE WITH GNOCCHI

Braise

2.5 Hours

Serves 4-6

Difficulty: Intermediate
The perfect dish to welcome in warmer weather! Venison foreshanks pull double duty by first making a broth that is the anchor of the braise while tenderizing the meat. It's a comforting bowl of pillowy soft gnocchi, loaded with fresh spring veggies and topped off with parmesan cheese and lemon zest for refreshing lightness in every bite. 
RECIPE BY MARK COCKCROFT
Ingredients
  • 2 packs (4 pieces) Maui Nui venison foreshanks
  • 1 (16oz) pack gnocchi
  • 1 bunch spring onions or 1 large leek, dark green parts set aside, and white and pale green parts sliced ¼” thick
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1” chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1” chunks
  • 4 large sprigs parsley, plus 2 Tbsp minced parsley
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh mint
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4oz morel mushrooms, sliced into rings (optional)
  • 8oz asparagus, trimmed and sliced into ½” pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4oz baby spinach
  • Finely grated zest and juice from one lemon
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan
Directions
Step 1: *Note This recipe uses an Instant Pot for that process, but you can also make the broth on the stovetop. Add all the broth ingredients (add an extra cup of water to count for evaporation) to a large stockpot and simmer for 2 to 3 hours until the shanks fall apart tender.
Step 2:

*Note This dish is also highly adaptable to whatever spring veggies and aromatics are available. Artichoke hearts, fennel, baby kale, or chard make fine substitutes, and tarragon, dill, or chervil would be lovely herbal additions. The mushrooms aren’t essential but take the braise to the next level.

Step 3:

To make the broth, place the foreshanks in the pressure cooker. Add the dark green parts of the spring onion or leek (make sure to wash them to remove any dirt), carrot, celery, parsley sprigs, thyme, water, and salt. Secure the lid and make sure the vent is set to sealing.

Step 4:

Cook at high pressure for 50 minutes, then carefully release the pressure when the time is up.

Step 5:

Strain the liquid into a large container and remove the shanks to cool, discarding the aromatics. Measure 4 cups of broth for the recipe and reserve the rest for another use.

Step 6:

When the shanks are cool enough to handle, pick the meat from the bones into bite-sized pieces, trimming any gristle or cartilage away, and set it aside.

Step 7:

In a small bowl, mix the minced parsley, mint, and lemon zest; set aside.

Step 8:

In a large sauté pan or pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced spring onions and mushrooms if using. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and sauté until the onions have softened a bit. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.

Step 9:

Pour in the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the broth and bring to a simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle bubbling.

Step 10:

Next, add the asparagus, gnocchi, and reserved venison meat; simmer for 2 minutes.

Step 11:

Then add the peas and spinach and simmer for 2 minutes or until just cooked through and wilted.

Step 12:

Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice to the pan. Taste for seasoning and add salt as necessary.

Step 13:

Serve in shallow bowls and sprinkle generously with the herb-lemon zest mixture and some of the parmesan. Enjoy!

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