Venison ham hock and white bean soup is the perfect winter meal. This hearty recipe uses pieces of smoked venison shanks, an ordinarily tough cut that benefits from low-and-slow cooking. As the meat simmers in the broth, it imparts rich and savory flavors that’ll make you rethink how you treat shanks.
Time to make
1 1/2 cups dry beans (great northern, cannellini, etc.)
1 1/2 pounds of venison ham hocks
1 onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp. Herbs de Provence, or Italian seasoning
1 cup dry white wine
2 quarts unsalted chicken broth
3 cups water
2 collard green leaves, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Also works with
- Place the beans in a colander and rinse well. Transfer to a bowl and cover with at least 4 cups of water. Let the beans soak overnight, or for about 8 hours.
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add a drizzle of cooking oil and sweat the onions. When they’re soft and translucent, add the carrots and celery. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook for one more minute, or until fragrant.
- Deglaze the pot with white wine, unsalted chicken broth, and water. Scrape up the bits of fond at the bottom. Season with the Herbs de Provence and add in the venison ham hocks. Refrain from seasoning with salt because the ham hocks are already salty.
- Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low so that it gently bubbles. Simmer for 2 hours with the lid ajar so that it slightly reduces.
- Rinse the soaked beans after soaking, then add them to the pot. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 more hours, or until the beans and the venison are both very tender. The meat should fall off the bone. As the soup cooks, add more water if needed. Taste and season with extra salt and black pepper, if needed.
- Drop the collard greens in during the last phase of cooking. Serve hot.
You can also make this recipe in a slow cooker. Follow the first three steps and then transfer everything to a crockpot. Stir in the beans and let it cook undisturbed for several hours until tender. Add the collard greens during the last 5 minutes just before serving.