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A venison preparation tip from Hank Shaw, author of the award-winning food blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Save those bones! Venison makes excellent stock. More important, you’ll use more of the animal, and you’ll elevate your cooking when you prepare rice or soup with homemade stock. Follow these tips for great stock:

1. Use leg bones, as they often have stray bits of meat on them. Adding meat makes a richer stock. Even better, toss in a venison shank.

2. Never let the stock boil. Bring it to a bare simmer only. Boiling will cloud your stock and can make it bitter.

3. Simmer meat for at least 3 hours before adding vegetables. Meat and bones take longer to give up their flavor, while vegetables need just 1 to 2 hours.

4. Strain your stock with a fine-mesh strainer or, better yet, one lined with cheesecloth.

5. Only add salt after you’ve strained the stock. Adding it too soon can result in a stock that’s too salty at the end.