Potato Gnocchi with Venison and Chanterelles (Gnocchi di Patate al Ragù di Cervo e Finferli)

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There are different ways of cooking the potatoes to make gnocchi. You can cook the potatoes sous-vide, or roast the potatoes in the oven. In this post I show that you can also simply boil the potatoes. I should probably do a side-by-side comparison to make sure which method is the best, but I have had good results with either method. To get light fluffy gnocchi instead of heavy rubbery ones, the most important thing to keep in mind is to use a minimal amount of flour.

In this autumnal dish, the gnocchi are served with a simple but tasty ragù of venison and chanterelle mushrooms. The list of ingredients is very short, but the combination of flavors and textures is very pleasant indeed. With fluffy gnocchi and tender venison, the dish is more elegant than you would expect.

Instead of venison stock you could use water or a different type of stock (vegetable, chicken, or beef), but it goes without saying that with venison stock the ragù will have a more pronounced venison flavor. Here’s what I did…

Ingredients

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For 3 very generous servings

450 grams (1 lb) venison stewing meat

200 grams (7 oz) chanterelle mushrooms

1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

salt and freshly ground black pepper

250 ml (1 cup) venison stock

600 grams (1.3 lbs) potatoes

150 grams (1 cup) flour

3 Tbsp butter

Preparation

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Cut the meat into bite-size morsels.

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Clean the chanterelle mushrooms if necessary and chop them roughly. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan and add the chanterelles.

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Sauté the chanterelles over medium high heat until they are cooked, then take them out of the pan and set aside.

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Add a tablespoon of butter to the pan in which you sautéed the chanterelles. Increase the heat to high.

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Wait until the butter has melted, then add the venison.

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Stir until the venison is browned on all sides.

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Add about 250 ml (1 cup) of venison stock.

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Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low.

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Cover with the lid askew, and simmer until the meat is tender. Stir now and then and add more stock or water if needed.

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Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and boil them in salted water until they are tender, about 25 minutes.

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Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot pan (with the heat turned off) so they can lose a bit of their moisture.

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Puree the potatoes using a food mill or a potato masher.

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Season with salt.

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As soon as the potatoes have cooled off just enough so you can knead them without burning your hands, add 150 grams (1 cup) of flour and mix to obtain a dough.

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When the dough comes together, transfer it to a wooden work surface that is sprinkled with flour to prevent sticking, and knead the dough briefly.

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Take a piece of the dough, and roll it out into a thin sausage about the thickness of a finger.

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Cut the dough into gnocchi of about 1.5 cm (1/2 inch). If you like you can use the tines of a fork to give them a ‘ribbed’ surface as well, but that is not really necessary.

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Arrange the gnocchi on a tray lined with a tea towel and sprinkled with flour. Repeat until you have used up all of the dough.

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Check whether the venison has become tender. The cooking time will depend on the age of the animal and the type of cut and could be anywhere between 1 and 3 hours.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the gnocchi when the venison is almost tender enough.

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Once the venison is tender, add the reserved chanterelles and a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves.

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Stir to mix, and cook over low heat until the chanterelles have warmed through.

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When the water boils, add salt and the gnocchi, and cook them until they rise to the surface.

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When they do, transfer them to the venison ragù with a strainer.

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Gently toss the gnocchi with the ragù.

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Serve on preheated plates.

Grated cheese is not required and I would recommend to try it without cheese first.

Wine pairing

We enjoyed this with a pinot nero from Alto Adige. Barbaresco would also be an excellent choice.

Flashback

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Rendang is the national dish of Indonesia and has even been voted the most delicious dish in the world. Rendang Daging is beef stewed in coconut milk with spices until all of the coconut milk has been reduced and the beef is tender.

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9 thoughts on “Potato Gnocchi with Venison and Chanterelles (Gnocchi di Patate al Ragù di Cervo e Finferli)

  1. To each their own! Love the recipe: eat potatoes but rarely because of their wretched GI, both ‘index’ and ‘load’ . . . but would steam them always should I do so 🙂 !! [PS; from this side of the world – Rendang is sinful but delicious dish , but we all consider it a Malaysian rather than an Indonesian or Thai dish at this stage 🙂 !]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How my Dad would have loved this dish, Stefan! I guess I take after him because I would really enjoy it, too I’ve not boiled the potatoes for gnocchi in years, ever since Mom advised me to stop the boiling. At the time, I immediately noticed the difference. Maybe it’ time I try to boil them again. I’m not the cook I once was and I bet they would be vastly improved this time around. Hmm … something to consider next time I need a dish of gnocchi — unless, of course, you deliver. 🙂

    Like

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