As I was rearranging my freezer the other day, trying to figure out how I was going to fit my [Oklahoma deer](/blogs/south-central-rut-report/2012/10/ bucks-acting-rutty-weeks-early-western-oklahoma) in there, I noticed an abundance of bone-in shanks piling up. Good thing loyal reader Levi Banks sent along an osso buco recipe with his Food Fight photo this week. But then, it’s also hard to turn down a good chicken-fry, like the one sent in by MaxPower. Guess I’ll just have to make both this weekend.

Levi’s Osso “Bucko”


Traditional osso buco is sliced shank, but I don’t have a good meat saw so I saved some whole shanks from a deer, browned them in the Dutch oven, then pulled them out and sauteed some onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Then I put the shanks back in along with some red wine and stock to cover. I transferred the whole thing to the Crock-Pot the next morning and let it cook all day. When I got home I pulled the meat out and shredded it, transferred the veggies and liquid to a pot, pureed it and boiled it down to become the sauce on top of the meat. The brussel sprouts are pan roasted and then served with barley risotto. One of the busier meals I’ve made in a while, but it was so good. I won’t ever again shave the meat off those bones and add it to the grind pile.

MaxPower’s Chicken-Fried Elk


Made this out of some elk steak I still had in the freezer, and luckily it was top sirloin, which is perfect for this. Nothing real unique or fancy; my batter is flour, salt, black pepper, paprika, and a heaping spoon of cayenne pepper for fun. I tenderize the steaks and pound them out so they’re a little thinner. Double dip and use some bacon grease to fry and help with making the gravy. My wife (who claims to not like elk) ate one and half steaks, and my 2-year-old kept asking for more as well.

Levi and Max have taken the Food Fight Friday challenge. Now it’s your turn. Send in your best food photo to and we’ll feature it here.