Recipe: Smoked Elk Shank Baked Beans

by
posted on June 1, 2019
elkshankbakedbeans_lead.jpg

Many hunters have fueled their days in the field with a big batch of homemade beans. In most camps, the rich, high-protein beans would be considered comfort food. Some recipes use bacon, or a big, old ham bone to enhance the broth that the beans cook in, which adds to the layers of flavor.

Big-game hunters that have not tried shank need to discover the value of this underrated cut of meat. Often looked at with disdain, shanks are held together with bands of silver tissue that most equate to tough, chewy meat. However, when the shanks are cooked at a low temperature for a long period, the silvers become collagen and gelatin, which are extremely tender and flavorful.

A batch of beans can be cooked with shanks from deer, elk, moose, bison or wild boar. To enhance the shanks and the final bean product, try curing and smoking the hocks first. The ham-like flavor and large portions of meat are sure to entice more hunters to covet the shanks from their next harvest.

Plain or smoked shanks can be slow cooked with beans for hours to produce a great dish. This recipe can be made the old-fashioned way, but with the popular new Instant Pot, you can make homemade beans, with all the flavor, in a fraction of time compared to slow cookers or baking. The Instant Pot works on the same premise as a pressure cooker, but is more intuitive with built-in functions and pre-programmed cooking applications.

Ingredients
• 2 lbs. cured, smoked elk shank
• 1 lb. dried navy beans
• 6 cups water
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 large onion, diced
• 3 cups tomato sauce (25 oz. can)
• ½ cup blackstrap molasses
• ¼ brown sugar, packed
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon mustard powder
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions
1. Rinse beans and put them in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover them by two inches, and let them soak overnight, then rinse.
2. Combine shank, beans, water and salt in an Instant Pot. Pressure cook on high for 20 minutes. Allow the pot to naturally release for at least 20 minutes. Once depressurized, pour the beans and shanks, and any remaining liquid in a bowl. Remove the shank pieces and cube them. Set aside.
3. Select the Sauté function on the Instant Pot, add the oil, and sauté the onions for 3-5 minutes, until lightly browned and tender.
4. Add the cubed shank, beans, tomato sauce, molasses, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and pepper. Stir well, replace the lid, and Pressure Cook on high for 10 more minutes. Allow the pot to release naturally for at least 30 minutes. The beans are now ready to serve or can be put away to take to hunting camp.

To smoke shanks, use Hi Mountain Buckboard Bacon Cure and follow the directions. One tablespoon of the cure mixture per pound of meat will prepare the shanks within three to four days for the smoker. Smoke at 200°F until the internal temperature of the shanks reaches 130°F. A Camp Chef SmokePro makes it easy to smoke with controlled temperatures, as there are built-in probes to monitor the internal heat, without having to open the lid.

Latest

Pickled Sausage
Pickled Sausage

Recipe: Pickled Smoked Venison Sausage

Looking for a good snack to take into the blind? Try out Brad Fenson's pickled, smoked venison sausage.

First Look: Rhino Blinds 180 Pro FD

The Rhino 180 Pro FD hunting blind builds on the original Rhino 180 with a multitude of improved features. Constructed of hard-wearing 300D fabric, this hub-style hunting blind features a two-way mesh system that prevents wild game from seeing in, while allowing hunters to see out without obstruction.

Firearm Industry Taxes Total $17 Billion Toward Wildlife Conservation Since 1937

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) announced in May that firearm and ammunition manufacturers have handed over more than $17 billion in excise taxes to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund since its 1937 inception.

Louisiana Hog Hunting Champions Accused of Cheating

The trickle of outdoor contest winners accused of foul play has continued, with six Louisiana men accused of fraud in two state-run hog-hunting contests.

#SundayGunday: Stevens Model 334 Walnut

This week on #SundayGunday, we’re taking a closer look at the Stevens Model 334, from Savage.

Hunting Suppressed Now Permanently Legal in Vermont

On June 6th, Vermont hunters gained the permanent right to use suppressors in the field when Gov. Phil Scott signed House Bill 878 into law, thus removing a sunset provision installed in Senate Bill 281 in 2022 that temporarily legalized their use.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.