This neck roast bbq recipe is a great dish to make with a whole venison neck, or a 4-to-6 pound piece of elk or moose neck. Since the neck is a heavily used muscle it takes a lot of cooking to tenderize the meat. l have great luck using a slow cooker.
After 6-8 hours, the meat can be pulled right off the bone. The spine ends up looking as clean as a museum specimen, and the meat is perfect for BBQ sandwiches.
- 4-to 6-pound neck, bone-in (use a whole venison neck or a 4-to 6-pound piece of an elk or moose neck)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2-3 qt. game stock or enriched stock (see below)
- 1/2-1 cup BBQ Sauce or store-bought BBQ sauce
- Hamburger buns
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 1 tsp. ground juniper berries
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- 2 shakes Worcestershire sauce
- If you don’t have time to make your own stock from scratch. put in store-bought vegetable or chicken stock in a large pot on the stove, add an onion (peeled and cut in half), and some extra bones from the freezer (chicken wings, venison shank, etc).
- Bring just to a boil, then lower to a simmer.
- Skim off and discard any scum on the surface.
- Add a bay leaf, a sprig of thyme or parsley stems if you have them.
- Keep at a low simmer for several hours.
- Skim off and discard the fat on the surface. Strain out the solids.
- Use the stock immediately, or cool and freeze.
This recipe comes from my buddy Chef Matt Weingarten, who tailored the sauce for the flavors of wild game. As you’ll see, making your own BBQ sauce is simple and can be well worth the effort.
- In a 6-quart pot, heat the oil and cook the onions until translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer for about 20 minutes. until the sauce flavors have come together.
- Cool and store in the refrigerator.
- Bring the neck to room temperature. Season liberally with salt and pepper all over.
- Heat a large sauté pan or roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil. When the oil shimmers, swirl the pan to coat well. Sear the neck until it’s browned on all sides.
- Put the browned neck in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add enough stock just to cover the neck.
- Cover, set the slow cooker on low, and cook for a minimum of 6-8 hours, until fork tender. (Alternatively, use a 6-to 8-quart Dutch oven, and cook in a 300° oven for 6-8 hours.)
- Keep checking to be sure it’s covered with liquid at all times. You’ll know it’s done when it flakes into really nice pieces.
- Remove the meat from the liquid and start shredding. (Don’t throw away the extra cooking liquid. Use the excess liquid like stock.)
- The meat should shred like pulled pork. Toss with BBQ sauce and serve in soft hamburger buns with sliced pickles and potato chips on the side. A couple of spoonfuls of coleslaw on top of the meat is a great addition.
Alternatively, you can store the meat in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Leftover shredded meat without the BBQ sauce can be tossed into a simple tomato sauce to make a convenient and tasty ragu for pasta dishes.