I’m not sure where this started, but lately it’s hard to watch a fishing show on TV without hearing the host refer to a big fish as having “big shoulders”. For the record, fish don’t have shoulders. Deer, on the other hand, do have shoulders but they can be a bit of a chore to cook. If you’ve ever tried to carve the usable scraps of meat out of a sinewy deer shoulder, you’ll be pleased to learn that there’s a much easier way. This slow-roasting method of cooking a shoulder roast will separate the meat from the mess. Once cooked, use the moist, tender meat for tacos, barbecue, stews, chili, sandwiches and more. Slow-Cooked Deer Shoulder Roast`
1 deer shoulder, boneless or bone-in
1/3 cup kosher salt
1 Tbl pepper
2 Tbls Italian seasoning
1 Tbl garlic powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 large onion, quartered
3 – 4 stalks celery, roughly chopped
3 – 4 carrots, roughly chopped
2 cans beer (or substitute chicken broth)
Rub shoulder with olive oil. Combine kosher salt with next 5 ingredients. Rub mixture liberally over all sides of the deer shoulder. For best results, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 – 12 hours. Place leg in a large roasting pan and roast in a preheated 375 degree oven for 2 hours or until well browned. Add beer to the pan, cover tightly with foil, return pan to the oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Roast for another 3 hours and then check meat for tenderness. If fully cooked, meat will pull away from the bone very easily. If additional cooking time is required, make sure there is at least 1/2-inch liquid in pan (add additional beer or broth, if needed), cover tightly, return to the oven and check every hour or so until meat is done. Remove pan from oven, allow to cool and pull cooked meat from the roast.
Best Barbecue: You might be surprised at how much meat a slow-roasted shoulder will yield. The first thing I usually do is to warm the meat with barbecue sauce, thin-sliced and a dash of Tabasco. Pile the meat on a Kaiser roll and serve with creamy cole slaw. The rest can be frozen in batches.
Scott’s website, HuntFishCook.com has hundreds of free fish and game recipes. Catch his TV show, HuntFishCook, in your area or on-line anytime at www.MyOutdoorTV.com