This is Hank Shaw's go-to venison broth that can stand confidently on its own or be utilized as an ingredient in pasta, slow cooker, or soup recipes. Hank reminds us to never take shortcuts when it comes to wild game stock, just relax and let things happen as they will.
4 lbs venison bones (or elk, or pronghorn, or big game animal bones)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 pig's foot (optional)
1 tbsp crushed juniper berries
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, or one large sprig
1 tbsp black pepper, cracked or coarsely ground
1 tbsp dried thyme, or several sprigs of fresh
4 bay leaves
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
About 1.5 cups chopped parsley
Cover the bones with the olive oil. Salt them well and roast them in a 400 degree oven for about an hour, or until browned. Preferably, keep some meat on the bones. The extra meat will bring your broth to the next level. After they've been browned, put the bones in a large stockpot. If you can, saw the bones into smaller chunks with a hacksaw. Add in the pig's foot, cover with water with an extra inch or two to spare, and let it simmer over medium-high heat.
While that's heating up, add more water to the roasting pan and let it sit for a couple minutes. This will loosen up the brown bits at the bottom, which can be scraped into the stockpot.
Skim off the froth that forms on the surface and simmer your stock very gently. Let it simmer for at least four hours. Hank likes to let it go overnight on the lowest heat possible. You don't want your broth to roil.
Add the rest of the ingredients and let it go for another 90 minutes.
Grab some tongs and remove the bones and large bits from the broth. Discard them. Set a paper towel inside a fine-mesh sieve that's over a large pot or plastic bin (not one that will melt). Ladle the broth through the sieve. Discard the dregs in the broth pot. There will be lots of little bits left in there.
Add salt to the clarified broth to your preferred taste and pour it into quart jars and freeze. If you choose to freeze your jars, leave 1.5 inches of space at the top so the jars don't crack in the freezer. Use within the year.
This makes about a gallon of stock.