Back in November, I had a blog post entitled Shanks are not Contraband, encouraging hunters to utilize shanks in a direct manner rather than grinding them. Once again, referencing chef/hunter Jesse Griffiths’ excellent book Afield, I put together this simple Barbacoa recipe to enjoy during the final round of the NFL playoff games.
The recipe calls for a combination of Thyme, Mexican organo, Cloves, Cinnamon, Cumin, Black pepper, Apple Cider Vinegar, Bay Leaves, Chipoltle Chilies and onion. While you can use a wide variety of cuts of meat, neck and shanks are suggested since this is a great recipe to cook these tough cuts into submission. I elected to use one rear and one front shank from a mature doe I killed back in December. I placed all of the ingredients in the Crock Pot and let it cook on low for 10 hours. Once the meat was done, it was just a simple matter of shredding the meat and making tacos. Shanks are perfect for this type of use because the texture is stringy yet tender, a cross between pulled pork BBQ and Macahca.