Friday, January 02, 2015


yields four servings

Brussels sprouts: 
6 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups distilled vinegar
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 ounces pickling spice
1 ounce red pepper flakes
1 ounce whole peppercorns
1/2 bunch fresh dill
3 bay leaves
1 pound Brussels sprouts

Pumpkin puree:
1 small to medium pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Elk chops:
1 ounce fresh rosemary
1 ounce fresh sage
Oil, for frying and searing
1 rack elk chops, broken down into double chops
1 pound sliced bacon

4 cups beef stock or 1 cup beef demi-glace
Unsalted butter, optional

For the Brussels sprouts: Combine 8 cups water, the apple cider vinegar, distilled vinegar, kosher salt, sugar, pickling spice, red pepper flakes, whole peppercorn, fresh dill and bay leaves, into a large pot and bring to a boil. Cut the Brussels sprouts into quarters, place them into a large container and pour the boiling liquid over them. Let the sprouts sit overnight, or at least 1 to 2 hours so they are at room temperature.

For the pumpkin puree: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the seeds from the pumpkin. Quarter the clean pumpkin and roast in the oven until tender, 30 to 45 minutes.
Scoop out the meat of the pumpkin into a bowl and add the brown sugar, melted butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Combine the ingredients by hand using a wooden spoon. Look for a slightly chunky consistency.

For the elk chops: Decrease the oven to 350 degrees F. Fry the rosemary and sage in some oil. Crumble the herbs, rub them on the sides of the elk chops and then wrap with the bacon. Secure with butcher's twine.
Add some oil to a hot pan and sear the elk chops, achieving a nice caramel color before flipping over and repeating on the other side. Finish cooking in the oven until medium.

For the demi-glace: Reduce the beef stock by three-quarters over low heat. Butter can be added if desired.

When the meat is cooked, place a large spoonful of the hot pumpkin puree on a plate. Remove the butcher's twine from the chop and lean it against the puree. Drizzle the demi-glace over the chop. Garnish the dish with a few pieces of the pickled sprouts and the dish is ready to serve.

bacon recipe source: adapted from Brian Jupiter, "Frontier," America's Best Bites, Cooking Channel

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