Saturday, November 19, 2011

Silver Palate

In the quest for trying new recipes from my cookbook stash I came across this cookbook from the Silver Palate.

I first became aware of this cookbook while working as a nanny in New York a very long time ago!  The authors also had a store-front in Manhattan and it was quite a thrill to visit their shop.

Many fabulous meals and desserts have been cooked up from this little gem. 

This was my recipe choice...


Why would I choose such an obscure recipe?  The answer is easy for two reasons.  My husband is a hunter and we have venison in the freezer.  My husband is bow hunting this weekend and this would be a perfect meal to send along...

Here's the recipe with notes to follow...


2 cups dry red wine
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 2 limes
2 large bay leaves
2 whole cloves
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
top leaves of 2 celery ribs
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
pinch of dried thyme
6 whole black peppercorns, crushed
1 juniper berry, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt

To complete the stew:
3 pounds of lean venison cut in 1-inch cubes
8 tablespoons (1 stick) sweet butter (more if needed)
2 tablespoons gin
3 tablespoons lean salt pork, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, as small as possible
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
12 to 18 tiny pearl onions
6 chicken livers

1.  Combine marinade ingredients in a large glass bowl and stir well.  Add venison, cover, and refrigerate for 1 day.  Turn meat 1 or 2 times in the marinade.

2.  Remove meat from marinade and dry thoroughly with paper towels.  Reserve marinade.

3.  Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy skillet.  Brown the cubed venison a few pieces at a time, and with a slotted spoon transfer them to a bowl.  Add additional butter to pan as needed.

4.  Transfer all the venison to a flameproof casserole.  In a small saucepan, warm the gin, then pour it over the venison and ignite.  Shake the casserole slightly until flames die out.

5.  Saute the diced salt pork in a small skillet until golden.  With a slotted spoon transfer pork to the casserole.

6.  Remove mushroom stems and save for another use or discard.  Wipe mushroom caps with a damp paper towel.  Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a small skillet.  Add mushroom caps and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.  Transfer mushrooms and cooking liquid to the casserole.

7.  Bring 1 quart salted water to a boil.  Drop in the pearl onions and boil for 1 minute.  Transfer onions to a bowl of ice water; when cool, peel them and add to the casserole.

8.  Strain the marinade and add it to the casserole; stir well.  Set casserole over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

9.  Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet and cook the chicken livers until they are firm but still pink inside, about 5 minutes.  Cut into large dice.

10.  When venison is tender, add livers to the casserole.  Taste, correct seasoning, and serve immediately.
        4 to 6 portions

Notes from the cook:
I was really looking forward to lighting that gin on fire!  It was very disappointing because the gin did not ignite. My husband and I both gave it a good try with pitiful results. 

The recipe calls for pearl onions that need to be cooked, iced and peeled.  Don't put yourself through that.  You can buy them in the freezer section all cooked and peeled.  Much easier.

The end result was very good.  The marinade flavors fantastic.  Chicken livers... not my favorite thing but my husband was giddy over them! 
Happy cooking,


Diana Leitner, BUGGIE, [back up grammy], DonnaCedergreen, [CG/GM-chief grammy/golf maven] and Debby Uppinghouse, [BG- best grandma] said...

Laurie-I have two of their cookbooks and they are my very favorite go to books. See you soon-xo Diana

Florence said...

Thanks for sharing, I have that cookbook too, I too have venison in my freezer, I will have to try that. In the meantime, I am making a venison chilli from the Farmers Almanac that sounded good! Hugs! Florence

Vintage Station said...

My sister is a fantastic cook and this is her favorite cookbook.

Chelsea said...

I'm so glad I got to read about this recipe after you told me about it! So obscure, but perfect for dad!