Rich, smoky, mustardy and a touch of sweet. If I ever walked into a southern BBQ joint and ordered a braised game shank dish, these smokehouse shanks are what I would expect to get. The blue cheese adds a great sharpness to this deeply flavored dish. Some people might say using liquid smoke in this recipe is cheating but I would say if you don’t have the ability to smoke at home then this is the best, and probably only, option.

These smokehouse shanks come from a Stone Sheep that I took with my bow in Northern B.C. Despite connecting on a beautiful ram on this trip, the two things that stand out the most in my mind are the good times hunting with a buddy and spending a full day post pack out sitting by a little fire on the lake and eating arctic char after arctic char sautéed in butter and spices. That was a meal I will not soon forget.

Smokehouse shanks instructions

Serving Suggestions: This would go incredible with cheesy grits and coleslaw. A classic combo.


4 – Shanks (I used boned out because that’s what I had but bone-in works even better, just add some extra braising time to account for the bone.)
2-4 Tbs. – Oil, grape-seed
2 – Onions, 1/2″ diced
12 cloves – Garlic, finely chopped

2 Tbs. – Yellow mustard seeds
4 Tbs. – Tomato Paste
2 cups – Red wine
4 cups – Chicken stock
1/2 cup – Maple syrup
1 tsp. – Liquid smoke
Blue Cheese such as a Danish blue or Stilton


  1. Place a large braising pot over medium high heat and add the oil.
  2. Meanwhile, season the shanks with salt on all sides.
  3. Once the oil starts to smoke, add the shanks to the pot and cook to a dark brown. Cook in batches if your pot isn’t big enough to cook them all at once.
  4. Flip the shanks and repeat the browning on the second side.
  5. Remove the shanks from the pot and set aside.
  6. Add the onion and sauté for 2-4 minutes or until the edges of the onion just starts to change color.
  7. Add the garlic and mustard seeds to the pot and cook for 2 minutes or until the garlic just starts to change color.
  8. Add the tomato paste and cook it out for 2-3 minutes or until it turns a dark reddish brown.
  9. Deglaze the pot with the wine and reduce the liquid by half while scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a spoon. 
  10. Add the chicken stock, maple syrup, liquid smoke and shanks to the pot and bring to a simmer. Add more stock if needed to cover the shanks completely and add as needed throughout cooking.
  11. Cover the pot and simmer on the stovetop for 3 hours or until the shanks are fall apart tender. This time will vary great based on a number of factors so keep checking. It may take upwards of 3 hours.
  12. If you are not serving this the same day, once the shanks are tender, place the entire pot into the fridge to cool and develop flavor overnight.
  13. To reheat, place the entire pot into a 350F oven and allow to heat all the way through.
  14. Baste the shanks as the sauce reduces to help create a bit of a sticky bark on the outside of the shanks.
  15. Once hot, season the sauce with salt to you liking. You can also add grainy mustard at this point if you have it and like the acidity it brings.
  16. Crumble the blue cheese over top of the smokehouse shanks and serve.
The Wild Kitchen Vol. 3