Christmas Venison en Croûte with Potato-Rutabaga Gratin

Merry Christmas!

I’ve included pictures, but the recipe for the Venison en Croûte can be found in the book: Au Pied De Cochon Sugar Shack – if you get a hold of the book/recipe, and have questions, feel free to email me!

I own the book in French, but Chef Picard most likely made sure that the translated recipes are up to par. What is a Sugar Shack? It’s a wonderful place where sap is collected from maple trees to make Canadian gold ie: maple syrup. They are open for a short period during the winter months, and typically have meals incorporating maple syrup – if you have the opportunity, be sure to visit Chef Picard’s Cabane a Sucre/Sugar Shack, I still have dreams about my experiences there!

The potato-rutabaga gratin was inspired by a dish I had in Richmond, VA at The Roosevelt. The cocktails and meal I had was one of the best (close tie with Pasture) I’ve had in VA.

Potato-Rutabaga Gratin – 4 Servings
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, smashed, peel removed
2 Sprigs of thyme
4 Yukon golds, peeled, sliced 1/8-inch thin
1 large Rutabaga, peeled, sliced 1/8-inch thin
2 cups Asiago, grated

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine heavy cream, freshly grated nutmeg, garlic, and 1 sprig of thyme in a small pot. Bring to a simmer, over medium low heat. Turn off heat, and prepare an oven safe baking dish.

Pour a little cream mixture to coat the bottom of the baking dish, alternate with potatoes and rutabaga slices, sprinkle a generous amount of cheese – continue process until you’re out of potatoes. Top with remaining cream, cheese, and lay the remaining sprig of thyme on top.

Cover with foil, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 1 hour. Once a butter knife can easily pierce through, the mixture is cooked. Remove foil, cook for another 5-10 minutes until top is browned.

Serve with main course.

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