Venison Ossobuco with Saffron Rice

I found inspiration for this ossobuco recipe in the pages of Afield, one of my go to wild game cookbooks. It is a collection of recipes and outdoor photography, with step by step guidance on how get your food from the field to the table without sacrificing taste or sophistication.  I recommend it to all you lady hunters out there.

Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish.

Aside from being a fun word to say, ossobuco is an Italian dish traditionally made with veal. But, since we’re kind of into wild game around here, I’m substituting venison backstrap. And I changed it to be done on the slow cooker.


  • 2 whole venison backstraps (I recommend marinating them)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 c. flour
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 2 onions (Save 1/4 c for the rice)
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 c. white wine
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • lemon zest (1 lemon’s worth)
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced

For Saffron Rice:

  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 1 package Uncle Ben’s Instant Basmati Rice
  • 1/4 c onions from above
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 c. hot water


  • Season the venison with salt and pepper, and dredge in flour

  • Remove the venison from the pot and put the sage, bay leaves, carrots, onions, and celery in the pot

  • Cook until the vegetables are tender (10 minutes)
  • Pour in the chicken stock and wine, and bring to a boil.
  • Put everything in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for three hours until done.

Saffron Rice

  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan
  • Throw in the onions and cook until they sweat

  • Crush the saffron threads with a mortar and pestle if you have it, or the end of a fork and a bowl will do!
  • Put 1/4 c hot water in the saffron pestle
  • Microwave the rice according to package instructions
  • Put rice in the pan with the onions, drizzle the saffron and water mixture over the rice, and stir together

Serve venison over rice.


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