Served with boiled baby potatoes and seasonal vegetables, this will warm whatever winter is left in your bones. Lamb or chicken can also be substituted, but keep an eye on the moisture level and reduce your simmering time accordingly.
1/2 cup (125 mL) flour
3 tsp (15 mL) paprika
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) black pepper
6 elk shanks, cut 2 in (5 cm) thick
2 Tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
4 stalks celery
1 lemon, juiced, zest reserved
1 tsp (5 mL) whole black peppercorns
4 cloves garlic
1 cup (250 mL) red wine
3 cups (750 mL) game stock
Combine flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a large plastic bag; add elk shank cuts and toss them to coat evenly. In a large saucepot heat the oil over medium heat, add elk, and brown evenly (about 5 to 6 minutes). Remove and set aside.
Add the vegetables to the pan and saut until fragrant (1 to 2 minutes); add the juices, zest, garlic, and peppercorns and saut for 5 more minutes. Deglaze the pot with the wine, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pot; add the stock and bring to a boil.
Return the shanks to the pot and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 3 hours or until the meat is tender. Remove meat from the pot and pure the sauce until smooth; season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
source: "Emerald Lake Lodge", alive #305, March 2008
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.