There’s nothing that warms the soul like the seductive aroma from your kitchen while slowly braising little cubes of nature’s goodness infused with fresh seasonal vegetables, rich stock/broth, wine reduction, aromatics and a splash of bourbon. Then add the baking of buttery puff pastry atop the above-mentioned savory goodness and you have a very seductive combination that will surely warm your soul.Elk Blanquette Ingredients2 1/2 – 3 lbs diced elk shoulder, bottom or eye round, silver skin/tendons removed, cubed
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp WildEats Lemon Garlic & Sage Rub (optional)
1cup flour – for dusting
3 tbsp bacon fat or cooking oil
1 cup good quality white wine
1 qt beef stock or broth
3 cups diced celery
3 cups diced leeks (or onions)
2 tbsp fresh garlic
2 bay leaves
2 lbs roasted (crimini, shiitake, morel, chanterelle, portabella or porcini mushrooms) tossed with s&p, garlic & olive oil) roasted @ 325°F for 20-30 minutes
zest of a lemon
1/2 cup good quality bourbon
1 cup sour creamPuff Pastry and Garnish
egg wash (1 egg yolk, 2 oz. water a pinch of salt and sugar, mixed well)
seasonal vegetables, garden herbsProcedure
Lightly dust the elk cubes with the rub, salt, pepper and flour. Heat up the bacon fat (or oil) in a sauté pan. Quickly sear the meat until blond (try not to brown the meat as this will have an effect of the color of the final product). Remember we are looking for a white sauce. Do this in small batches. When the meat is seared remove to a crock-pot or heavy gauge saucepot. Continue until all the meat is seared. Deglaze the sauté pan with the wine, simmer until reduced to just about dry. Scrape the residue from the pan into the crock pot with the meat. Add the stock and vegetables. Bring to a simmer and slowly cook until almost tender (app. 2 hours in a pot or for as much as 5-6 hours in a slow crock-pot.
On the side toss the crimini mushrooms with salt, pepper & garlic and lay them on a sheet pan and place into a 325° F oven for about 20-30minutes. This evaporates the moisture of the mushrooms and intensifies their flavor. Hold until the meat is almost done.
When the meat is almost tender add the roasted mushroom, sour cream, bourbon and lemon zest. Stir well and bring back to a simmer. Adjust the seasoning. Each of these last ingredients gives you a specific property to the final flavor.
At this point you can eat this Blanquette as is but as we often do at WildEats I like to take it to the next level. Cool the Blanquette and place it into ramekins, garnished with your favorite seasonal vegetables and herbs. Cut the puff pastry into circles large enough to cover the ramekins. Brush the egg wash around the edge and place the puff pastry over the top. Stretch the pastry over the edges and press the dough around the edge of the ramekins. Eggwash the top of the pastry. Place the ramekins on a sheet pan and into a 365°F oven. Bake until golden brown, app. 30 – 45 minutes. Remove and serve….