Simple Gourmet: Easiest Pulled Meat

Life is busy which makes it difficult to take time to eat well. Well, here’s an easy way to prepare game meat that is also easy to love. You can grab frozen meat before work and it’ll be ready to eat when you get home.

I brought home a roadkilled-deer the other day, which means my free time was suddenly eaten up with processing. I’d love to have made osso buco with the shanks, but limited time made this a much better choice.

You can eat the pulled meat on sandwiches, in tacos, on rice, with mashed potatoes, and a hundred other ways. Leftovers freeze well, and since the crockpot is already up to temperature, you can put the bones back in and make stock. Let’s get to it.

What You Need

  • Meat, not more than fits in your crock pot; shanks and other tough cuts are good
  • Root beer, 12 oz or more; also try it with other opaque carbonated drinks, but note that sugar-free drinks will be different
  • Barbeque sauce, 1 Cup or more
  • Salt
  • Large crockpot; pressure cooker works (see manual)

What You Do

Just put the meat in the crockpot, salt it, and add barbeque sauce and soda so it covers the meat about 3/4 of the way. Turn the slow cooker on high, cover, and leave for 6 to 12 hours.

Add soda pop and bbq sauce to cover the meat about 3/4 of the way.

Now just remove the meat from the pot and shred with two forks or meat shredders. Spoon some of the sauce from the pot back into it, or add more barbeque sauce and serve on buns, or on rice, etc.

Deer shanks have loads of silverskin, which makes the meat tough. Don’t spend time cutting away the silverskin, but do remove the other films on the outside of the muscles — this is often where the funky or ‘gamey’ tastes reside. As it braises in the crockpot, the silverskin and tendons will turn to gelatin and can be scraped away with a fork. Be sure to return the gelatin to the pot when you make stock.

Don’t worry about the silverskin, but do remove the other films on the outside of the meat.

Make Stock

Return the bones and gelatin to the pot and fill it with water. You may also add vegetable scraps. Let this simmer overnight, then strain the solids and you’ll have rich stock to use next time you braise a roast or deglaze a pan after searing a steak. Store it in jars in the fridge or freezer.

About the author: Levi Sim is an avid hunter, and an increasingly avid shooter. He strives to make delicious and simple recipes from the game he kills. He makes a living as a professional photographer, writer, and photography instructor. Check out his work and he’d love to connect on Instagram: @outdoorslevi

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Hillbilly Larry July 24, 2021, 11:06 pm

    I do almost the same thing with raccoon using beer and BBQ sauce in a large crockpot. Most people don’t realize they are eating coon.

  • Todd July 23, 2021, 11:38 am

    Great write-up.

    I’ve never heard of using carbonated beverages before – very interesting.


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