26 December, 2009

Christmas Dinner


It all began when og (http://www.neanderpundit.com/) posted his version of Venison Wellington last week. The wheels in the right side of my brain began to spin, thinking of what to do to create a fine Colorado rendition of the same.

Mark and I harvested two mule deer does the first weekend of December. I had a roast in the freezer just begging to be made into a version of Wellington. Here's the recipe:

  • one pint of fresh button mushrooms, coarse chopped
  • two shallots, coarse chopped
  • two garlic cloves, coarse chopped
  • quarter cup of dried currants
  • two quarter inch thick discs of Liverwurst (Braunschweiger)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • two Tblsp. unsalted butter
Heat a heavy skillet (cast iron) medium heat with the butter and a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Dump the mushrooms, shallots, garlic into the food processor, pulse until they are very fine, almost a paste, drizzle a bit of olive oil as needed to keep the texture fine. Saute the mixture in the butter and olive oil about 10 minutes till the liquid is reduced. Salt and Pepper to tase. DO NOT clean the skillet! Set the mixture aside to cool. When the mix is cooled, mix in the currants.


The Roast:

  • One small (2 to3 lb) Loin or Bottom Round Venison roast
  • 12 slices (about a half pound) good Prosciutto ham
  • One package (18 sheets) phyllo dough
  • Mild Dijon mustard
  • Olive oil (or melted butter)
  • Bacon grease
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
  • Marsala wine
  • one egg, beaten with water to make an egg wash

In the same skillet that you sauteed the pate mixture, add some bacon grease and olive oil, about a tablespoon of each. Heat on medium high until the oil begins to smoke. Dust the roast with salt and pepper. Sear all sides of the roast until well browned. It will take about 10 minutes total. Set the roast aside covered with foil to rest for about 5 minutes. AGAIN....do not clean the skillet

Lay out the slices of prosciutto overlapping (herringbone or bricklayers pattern) on long piece of plastic wrap...or a cross made of plastic wrap. Spread the pate mixture on the prosciutto. Add cut or torn chunks of the liverwurst evenly on the pate. Coat the roast on all side with the dijon mustard and place it in the center of the pate. Fold the prosciutto over the roast, sealing it inside. Wrap the plastic tight, creating a solid seal. Refigerate or put in the freezer to cool and retain its shape, about 20 minutes in the 'fridge, 10 minutes in the freezer.

Heat your oven to 425 degrees.

While the roast is cooling, brush or spritz all the layers of phyllo dough with either melted butter or olive oil. Remove the plastic and place the roast in the center of the stack of phyllo. Fold the dough around the roast, sealing it inside. Cut slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Place the roast in an oiled baking pan....I prefer glass. Brush with the egg wash.

Roast the Wellington for 35 to 45 minutes depending on how rare you like your meat. I did ours for 35.

Remember the unclean skillet? It has good stuff in it! While the roast is in the oven, reheat the skillet and add a bit of bacon grease or butter if needed. If you wish, add flour or corn starch to make a roux. Whisk in between a quarter to half cup of the Marsala to make a bit of gravy to drizzle over the Wellington.

Remove your Wellington, slice thick and enjoy!

The dijon slathered roast laid out on the pate and prosciutto and plastic, ready to be wrapped and cooled.

The Wellington wrapped in phyllo, slits cut and brushed with the egg wash; ready for the oven.

Thirty five minutes later, it came out of the oven, ready for the table, a luscious brown crust on the phyllo.

Sliced from the center out, the meat was done to perfection, barely medium rare, extremely tender and redolent with the flavors of currants, shallots, mushrooms and the spicy bite of the liverurst.

We served it with steamed broccoli spritzed with lemon butter and mashed yams with rice syrup, currants and more butter! A fine Cab or Merlot for those inclined. Oh...and desert was Brandied Pears.