Venison Vindaloo Recipe (adapted)

Prepared by Tristan

Cook Time: 8.5 hours

My brother has recently started to incorporate the “tougher” cuts of venison into his cooking. Think necks and shanks, meat that typically has more connective tissue. The cool part of all that connective tissue is when cooked slowly, it will melt down, leaving you with both a tender and flavorful dish. While I love this idea, in practice I have been slow to adopt it into my routine.  The thought of having to cook this whole chunk of meat requires some planning and exploration. 

The cold snap finally provided me with the impetus to concoct a dish I had been thinking about for a while, Venison Vindaloo. Vindaloo is a traditional tomato-based curry and was my first foray out of the “Butter Chicken Realm” of the curry world.  I remember the extremely savory and earthy dish because it almost melted my face off, and being a spice lover I was immediately infatuated. This dish has significantly less heat, but if you are interested in the real deal, I got my first taste at the Kings Head pub in Winnipeg.

This recipe below is an adapted version1 and comes out of my aspiration to recreate that flavor-packed curry and merge it with our harvest, venison.  I chose the venison shank, as I thought this dish would stand up well to the low and slow method, and the already flavourful mixture would get even more added depth by using the bone-in cut.  Overall, I’m happy with how it turned out and look forward to continuing to find creative ways to share our venison.

For Vindaloo Paste:

3-5 tbsp Kashmiri Chili Powder2

2 tbsp Coriander Seeds3

4 Clove

1 inch Cinnamon Stick

3 Green Cardamom Pods

10 Black Peppercorns

1 tsp Cumin Seeds (or ½ tsp ground cumin)

1 tsp Mustard Seeds

10 cloves Garlic chopped

1 tbsp Vinegar

1.5 tbsp Tamarind Paste

½ cup water 

Shank Preparation:

4 tbsp Vegetable oil

2 Onions (chopped)

1 Venison shank (trimmed - make sure it also fits in the crock-pot!)

1 quart Stewed Tomatoes4

1 tsp Turmeric Powder

Salt to taste

1 tsp Sugar

Sides & Garnish:


Naan bread


  1. Dry roast on medium-low heat coriander, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds until fragrant and slightly browned (about 5 minutes). Dry roasting really enhances spice flavours.
  2. Blend the spice mix in a blender along with ginger, garlic, and vinegar and tamarind paste to make a smooth paste.
  3. Add water while making paste until smooth.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 F
  5. Oil baking sheet
  6. Oil and season with salt and pepper the venison shank
  7. Add onions and shank to pan – place in oven until browned (about 25 min). Flip once in that time.
  8. In a crock-pot combine tomatoes, salt, turmeric, 1 cup of water and spice paste. Add in your shank and onions.
  9. Cook on low-heat for 4-8hrs (until you can shred meat). Flip shank at least once.
  10. Shred shank and remove bone. Be sure to extract any bone morrow that has not been cooked out. Mix in sugar.
  11. Mix and serve over basmati rice with side of Naan. Garnish with cilantro.


Toasting the spice blend in a cast iron skillet


 The brand of Kashmiri chili powder purchased

Venison shank and onions pre-sear


Garden canned tomatoes
  1. Recipe was adapted from Neha Mathur on
  2. I bought this chili powder from Superstore. See picture.
  3. Try to get the whole spices as they retain their flavor better. You can find most these at your local bulk food store. You can get them in desired volumes that way too.
  4. We were thrilled to use our garden canned tomatoes.