Roast Leg of Venison with Ragout and Celery Root Pockets ▶
Venison is cooked two ways — rolled and roasted, then cut into medallions, and cut up and cooked with vegetables in a savory ragout. The celery root pockets add an interesting touch. Regular pastry dough may be used in place of the potato dough for the pockets.
- Venison - 1 leg
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Canola oil - 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick)
- Celery - 2 stalks, roughly chopped
- Carrots - 2, pared and roughly chopped
- Scallions - 2, cleaned and chopped
- Oregano, Basil, and Lovage - 3 tablespoons, mixed, chopped,
- Black peppercorns - 1 tablespoon, whole
- Dijon mustard - 1 tablespoon
- Bacon - 2 slices, roughly chopped
- Red Wine - 1 cup
- Venison Stock - 1 cup (alt. beef stock) (see Basics)
- Unsalted Butter - 1/4 cup (1/2 stick)
- Basil leaves - 2 – 3, chopped
- Elderberries - 1 cluster
- Celery Root Pockets
- Shallots - 2, minced
- Chanterelles - 1-1/2 cups
- Celery Root - 1, cut in small dice
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Potato Dough (see recipe below)
- Canola oil - for deep frying
- Potato Dough
- Baking Potatoes - 3 large, boiled and peeled
- Semolina Flour - 1 cup
- All-Purpose Flour - 1-3/4 cup
- Egg - 1
- Butter - 1/4 cup, melted
- Nutmeg - 1/4 teaspoon, grated
- Salt - 1-1/4 teaspoon
To prepare the venison: Preheat the oven to 350 F. With your fingers, separate the skin and bone from the leg of venison. Separate the two large meat pieces from the small and spread out the large ones. Square off the large pieces of meat, saving the small pieces for the ragout. Season the cleaned meat with salt and pepper.
Tie the large venison pieces with kitchen string, pulling into oblong packages. Drizzle with canola oil. Place 2 tablespoons of canola oil in an ovenproof saute pan or skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the two tied meat packets and sear until browned on all sides; the process will take about 5 minutes. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
Cut the small pieces of venison into 1-inch cubes. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat and brown the cubed venison. Remove the venison from the pan and set aside. Add the butter and melt. Add the celery, carrot, scallion, herbs, peppercorns, and mustard and stir to blend. Cook 2 minutes, or until the liquid in the pan has evaporated. Add the bacon and cook until slightly browned and crisped. Add the wine and stir up the browned bits from the bottom. Add the venison stock and reduce the heat to medium-low; simmer for 20 minutes. Strain through a colander. Return the meat chunks to the sauce; reserve the vegetables and keep warm. Put the sauce back on medium heat. Add the butter and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the basil and elderberries. Remove from heat and keep warm.
To prepare the pockets: Heat the butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat and saute the shallots and celery root until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the cream and cook until the liquid has nearly all evaporated and the mixture has thickened and holds its shape. Remove from heat.
Roll the potato dough out as thin as possible on a lightly floured surface and cut twelve 4-inch circles. Place a spoonful of the celery root mixture in the center of each and fold in half; press the edges together. Heat the oil to 360 F in a deep fryer or deep saucepan and fry the pockets until golden, turning once. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
To serve: Fill the center of each plate with venison ragout. Divide the vegetables among the plates and place in a circle around the ragout. Position three celery root pockets on each plate, leaning against the ragout.
Remove the strings and slice the venison rolls into medallions; divide among the plates and arrange over the center of the ragout.
To make the dough: Pass the potatoes through a sieve. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until it comes together. Turn the dough out onto an unfloured work surface. Knead until the dough is smooth and holds together. Form into a large ball and cover with plastic wrap; let rest in the refrigerator. Roll out on a floured surface and use as desired.