Crock-Pot Venison Shoulder Roast

A deer shoulder is the least favorite venison meat to work up for most people, but it’s well worth the effort. I know some people that don’t even bother and throw the shoulders away. To me, every little ounce adds up and I try to save as much as possible.

You can always cut the shoulder meat off the bone and grind it up for deer burger, sausage, meat sticks, jerky, etc… but we have other delicious options, too. I like to slow roast a deer shoulder in a crock-pot and then make something with it. It’s so good with a rich thick brown gravy poured over top of it and served with mashed potatoes.

However, you could make just about anything with it, such as venison fajitas, quesadillas, BBQ sandwiches, and steak subs. You can put it in a stew, chili or soup or just splash it with A1 sauce. I’ve even put it on a pizza and in a salad. Don’t knock it until you try it.

So, to those of you that throw venison shoulders away, try this recipe with some of my ideas above or your own idea and I think you might change your mind.

Feel free to print our recipe card:

Crock-Pot Venison Shoulder Roast

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 12 hours

Total Time: 12 hours, 5 minutes

Crock-Pot Venison Shoulder Roast


  • 3 lbs venison, shoulder
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of black pepper
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, cored and quartered into 8 pieces
  • 2 small onions, largely sliced


  1. First, remove the shoulder meat from the bone so it will fit inside the crock-pot more easily.
  2. Now, make sure to remove all of the sinew, tendons, fat and anything that isn't beautiful deer meat. If you leave that on the meat, it will make it taste extremely gamey and gives it an unpleasant almost rubbery texture.
  3. Line the inside of the crock-pot with olive oil.
  4. Coat the venison shoulder pieces with olive oil and sprinkle them with black pepper and salt.
  5. Place the venison shoulder pieces inside the crock-pot, and cover with apples and onions.
  6. Put the crock-pot on low and cook for about 12 hours.
  7. Once it's done, remove the shoulder roast from the crock-pot and leave all of the apples, onions, and juices in the pot.
  8. Put the deer shoulder in a bowl and serve it as you wish. You can use some of the ideas I listed above or come up with your own idea.

When you take the shoulder roast out of the crock-pot it will literally try to fall apart. You can take a fork and easily rip it to shreds or very carefully slice it with a sharp knife. It’s so tender I recommend using a fillet knife if you’re going to slice it.

I did not calculate the nutrition facts for this recipe for the simple fact that the majority of the ingredients will not be consumed. If you would like to calculate the nutrition facts is a great website and app and its free. When you calculate it, just enter in the venison and that’s all because you will not be eating the other ingredients.

I will, however, give you a few tips. This roast is low in fat and sugar and is high in protein. It might be a little too high in sodium for some and if that’s so you could omit the added salt.

Please Note: The tenderness of the deer shoulder depends on several things:

  • How old the deer was–the older the deer the tougher the meat.
  • If the meat was aged properly after harvesting.
  • If it is cooked correctly.

So, if yours turns out tough and you had an old deer that wasn’t aged properly or you didn’t cook it slowly, please don’t blame me ☹️

My favorite thing to make with this shoulder is a thick brown beef gravy that I got from Emeril Lagasse’s website. I pour it over the meat and serve it with mashed potatoes or steamed broccoli. If you would like to give it a try, you can click the link above or follow the recipe below

Beef Gravy:

3 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. minced shallots
1 tsp. minced garlic (optional)
1/2 tsp. thyme
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 cups beef broth
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Over medium heat, melt the butter in a pan. Add the flour and stir well. Heat and stir until it looks like a dark brown paste, which will take about seven minutes. Toss in the shallots, thyme, and garlic and cook for a minute. Add Worcestershire sauce and cook for another minute. Then add the broth, salt, and pepper. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat and let it slowly simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.

Bon Appetit

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2 thoughts on “Crock-Pot Venison Shoulder Roast”

  1. Pingback: How To Prepare A Good Deer Roast In A Crock Pot

  2. Pingback: Venison Shoulder Roast – Asik Masak

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