Asian Style Venison Shanks

I love Asian flavours and the ingredients are always to be found in my fridge. I decided to use them to make these Asian style venison shanks.

Asian Style Venison Shanks
Asian Style Venison Shanks
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South Africa has rolling blackouts as our Government run electricity supplier is defunct. In 1994 the political party in control promised electricity to every household in the country. But, they failed to build new electrical plants in time, and they did not maintain the ones already in existence. They have had exorbitant increases over the years. And that, coupled with lack of supply has meant that some people have switched to solar. We have never seen the point, as the cost far outweighs the inconvenience. And for many people this is just not an option. To top this untenable situation, there have been issues of sabotage around the country. And then to make matters worse, Eskom labour force went on strike. Usually the City of Cape Town can keep the power on. But for two weeks we were affected every single day.

Today’s inspirational recipe from Lavender and Lime ♥ Asian Style Venison Shanks ♥ #LavenderAndLime Share on X

The power goes off for two and a half hours at a time. And some working days this meant we lost over 3 hours to load shedding. At home it was bad timing, either at 18h00 or 20h00. And our emergency lights were not staying on long enough. This is because the battery was no longer holding its charge. To do so, it needs to be used regularly, which seldom happens. No sooner had Dave replaced the battery than the strike was resolved. We had one week of usage, and then, luckily for us, our area was not affected by the schedule. We were nearly switched off on the same night I had invited guests for dinner. But luckily that did not happen as my entire meal needed an oven. Do you have rolling blackouts where you live?

Asian Style Venison Shanks


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Asian Style Venison Shanks

Substitute lamb for venison if you prefer
Recipe Category: Meat
Makes enough for: 2 people
All Rights Reserved: An original recipe from Lavender and Lime


  • 30 mls olive oil, divided
  • 2 venison shanks
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 4 spring onions sliced, white part only
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cm fresh root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 5 mls chilli flakes
  • 1 quill cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 125 mls rice wine vinegar
  • 60 mls apple cider vinegar
  • 60 mls coconut sugar
  • 30 mls dark soy sauce
  • 25 g liquid beef stock concentrate
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 10 g 10g coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra to garnish

to serve

  • cooked rice to serve
  • 1 chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into cheeks


  • Preheat the oven to 160˚ Celsius
  • Place 15 mls oil into an ovenproof casserole dish that can go on the stove
  • Heat over a high temperature
  • Brown the shanks, seasoning generously as you do so
  • Remove from the heat and add the rest of the oil to the dish and heat
  • Add the onions and celery, reduce the temperature and sauté until soft
  • Add the garlic, finger, chilli, cinnamon and star anise and cook until fragrant
  • Add the shanks back to the dish then add the vinegars, sugar, soy sauce, beef stock and lime juice
  • Stir to combine then add the coriander
  • Remove from the heat, cover tightly with foil and place into the oven to cook for 2 hours
  • Remove from the oven, remove the foil, turn the meat and place back into the oven for 30 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and serve on a bed of rice, garnished with coriander leaves, chilli and lime cheeks
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16 thoughts on “Asian Style Venison Shanks

  1. We have very little venison available in eastern Australia and lamb shanks have become rather expensive . . . so I oft use kangaroo, another gamey meat, in its stead. Yours is a lovely South African style of Asian to try . . . so may splurge on the lamb 🙂 ! Because of our drastic multiple floods this year many areas have suffered from days’ and weeks’ long blackouts. Because of our ever quickening transition to solar and wind energy and the closing down and lack of upkeep of the old coal power stations the mostly overseas owners did try to withhold power over one particular week as their profits were being cut – well, the government simply put its foot down and demanded sufficient energy was released tho’ we were advised to cut our usage a tad. No problems since – the newly elected government seems to be managing ! Here a lot of people are selling their extra solar power back into the grid and putting on solar power is heavily subsidised . . . one can also pay it off over a long period. I personally love wind power . . . and it boles a lot in this part of the world . . .

    1. I cannot understand why lamb is so expensive. Saying that, shanks are cheaper than chops which helps. We have a lot of wind power here as it is also very windy where we live. BTW, Masterchef Australia starts here next month – I cannot wait! MKR should follow once it ends.

  2. Three reasons for the lamb prices: Because of the worst ever weather patterns and huge stock losses the flock numbers are low. Our quality of purely grass-bred livestock is more expensive to raise than in the case of cattle. United States and China are way outbidding the locals price wise . . . and the farmer wants his profit ! And lamb shanks like beef cheeks have become ‘fashion foods’ and simply command a higher price – a few decades back I cooked them for my dogs ! You are getting MasterChef and MKR earlier than Europe methinks . . . interesting to hear your opinion. To me, the first one is still the ‘class act . . . and the second more of a soap opera re food .) ! Enjoy and hope you have a healthy happy weekend !

    1. I can understand profit, but I feel if people bought local produce the local farmers would thrive. We had the ‘fashion’ foods, but since Covid they seem to not be as fashionable as the restaurants are not taking all of them. MKR is a food opera – our local version starts here on Sunday but it is nothing like yours 🙂

  3. Hi Tandy, it seems you got off a lot more lightly than us with the rolling blackouts. We had 8 weeks of nearly continuous blackouts up to three times a day. They extended far beyond the 2 hours and a few days our power was off for over 24 hours. It was the same for many other people in Joburg and Pretoria. South Africa is a mess because of this power mismanagement. We have a generator and will probably go solar out of necessity. You can’t live and work like this. The alternative is to immigrate but that isn’t on the cards for us yet.

    1. Lucky for us, we live in the City of Cape Town! They can supply their own power and plan on increasing that. Funnily, we didn’t always live in the CoCT and I was not impressed when we were ‘moved’ there. All political of course. But now I am not complaining. My folks have different schedules at work and home but also find it a pain. Solar would work for you I am sure if you continue to work from home.

  4. Venison in the US is unusual, as game cannot be sold, only farm-raised meat, which must be slaughtered in a supervised slaughterhouse. I think there is a very small quantity of farm-raised venison, but it would be prohibitively expensive.

    best… mae at

    1. Venison is being farmed in South Africa due to the high rise in cattle theft. I am really surprised to read that you cannot buy venison in the US. We get an annual gift when a friend goes hunting.

  5. fortunately, we do not have rolling blackouts in our part of the. your situation sounds quite frustrating. Do they give any notice as to when the blackouts will happen?

  6. These flavors look fabulous! We get venison here pretty readily during hunting season, and this would be a fun way to serve it up. I like the idea of trying this with lamb too. Maybe some beef ribs?

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