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Published: Tuesday, 1/26/2010

Roasted Venison Shoulder

1 shoulder of venison

1/4 cup bacon drippings

2 onions, diced small

1 carrot, peeled and diced small

1 celery stalk, diced small

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 garlic coves, crushed

1 cup canned diced tomatoes

2 apples, any type, cored and diced

2 ounces dried porcini or chanterelle mushrooms

2 cups beef broth

1 cup apple juice

1 cup red wine

1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

1 sprig rosemary

2 bay leaves

1 dash sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

For the turnips:

1 pound turnips, peeled and diced

1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and diced

1/2 pound unsalted butter, diced

Salt to taste

Season venison shoulder with salt and pepper. Over high heat, add bacon drippings to pot, then brown venison on both sides. Remove venison, then add onion, carrot, and celery. Reduce heat to medium and stir while cooking, until vegetables have become mahogany in color. Then stir in flour. When flour has been well-incorporated, add garlic, tomato, apple, and dried mushrooms.

Let mixture come to a boil before slowly stirring in beef broth, apple juice, and red wine. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil again. Add thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, sugar, and venison shoulder.

Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover pot. Cook 2 hours or until meat begins to pull from bone with a fork. Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat. Take out venison shoulder and carefully pull meat form bone. Return meat to cooking liquid until ready to serve.

To make turnips: Place turnips and potatoes in a pot and fill with enough water to cover vegetables. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook 20 minutes or until turnips become soft. Drain vegetables and transfer to food-processor bowl. Add butter and puree mixture. Season to taste with salt.

To serve, place a large spoonful of turnip puree on a plate. On top, serve a generous spoonful or two of the venison shoulder with sauce.

Yield: 6 servings

Source: Chef John Besh, chef-owner of August restaurant in New Orleans

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