Winter Recipe Winner

winning recipe WILLIAM DOUKAS  |  first runner up KIRA REED

BillyD’s Venison Shepherd’s Pie

The star of this Maine dish is the filling, which consists of deer meat with local vegetables topped with a buttery turmeric-flavored russet mashed potato topping. This is real comfort food with a gamy edge.

recipe William Doukas

Serves 8–10

Filling:
2 pounds leeks, sliced ¼-inch thick
4 ounces local butter
6 medium shallots
4 ounces Fiore olive oil
3 tablespoons marjoram
3 tablespoons sage
Black pepper and salt
3 pounds ground venison
1 pound white button mushroom, sliced ¼ inch thick
2 ounces Worcestershire sauce
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced ½-inch pieces
1 pound butternut squash, cut into ½-inch x ½-inch pieces
Dill weed, for garnish

Turmeric Mashed Potato Topping:
6 large russet potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons turmeric
6 ounces local butter
4 ounces milk
Black pepper and salt

Sauté leeks in butter over medium heat in a cast-iron pan. Add shallots and olive oil. Add marjoram, sage, pepper and salt. Place ground venison in pan while cooking over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste.

Gently boil or steam Brussels sprouts, carrots and squash until tender yet firm; drain.

Combine all ingredients in large pan over low heat. Place mixture into a 12- x 18- x 3-inch-deep pan; spread evenly.

Boil potatoes till soft; mash and add turmeric, butter, milk, salt and pepper. Spoon and level mashed topping over venison mixture. Salt and pepper lightly and bake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until potato topping begins to turn golden. Broil for 5 to 10 minutes, until topping is browned.

Remove from oven and allow to rest 15 minutes before cutting. Garnish with dill weed and serve.

Vension sources:
Pat’s Meat Market in Portland
Hussey’s General Store in Windsor

. . .

“Golden Milk” Quick Gnocchi

recipe Kira Reed

Serves 2 as a main course

Gnocchi:
4 large poatoes
2 large egg yolks
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup flour (with extra for dusting)

Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
¾ cup milk
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon turmeric
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
Finely chopped almonds for garnish
Basil leaves for garnish

Gnocchi:
Put about 5 quarts water on high; bring to boil. Liberally salt.

Poke potatoes with a fork and microwave for 10 minutes. Flip potatoes and microwave another 10 minutes, or until fork tender. Let cool
5 minutes. Cut potatoes in half, scoop out insides and mash with fork
or put through a ricer.

Place potato, egg yolks, salt and flour into a mixing bowl and stir until dough forms. Dump dough on the table and knead until smooth dough forms. Cut dough ball into quarters and roll each into a snake ¼ inch wide. Dust rolls with flour and cut into 1-inch pieces. You can cut multiple cylinders at once if you line them up.

Drop gnocchi gently into rapidly boiling water. Stir to avoid sticking. Boil until gnocchi float, approximately 10 minutes. Strain.

Sauce:
Put saucepan on medium heat; add butter to melt. Add flour and whisk until smooth paste is formed; continue to whisk additional 30 seconds to cook flour. Slowly add milk while whisking.

Add salt, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon and ground ginger. Continue whisking until incorporated.

Bring sauce to a simmer, stirring frequently; take off heat; set aside.

Add gnocchi to sauce and cook for a minute to fully coat.

To serve, sprinkle with chopped almonds. Add basil leaves for garnish.

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