Smoked Mushroom Caps with Braised Venison Shoulder, Confit Garlic, and Old Cheddar


For the Venison Braise:

2lb Venison Shoulder
32 ounces red wine
1 tablespoon shallots
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, diced
2 leeks, diced
1 rib celery, diced
32 ounces’ beef or game stock
Salt and pepper

For the confit garlic:

1 cup olive oil
24 garlic cloves, peeled

For the mushroom caps:

24 large Cremini Mushrooms
3.5 oz. Old Cheddar


Preparing the Venison shoulder:

1.Marinate shoulder in wine, shallots, garlic, and herbs overnight. Save the marinade.
2.Sear off the venison shoulder in heavy sauce pot until brown on all sides and remove.
3.Add Mirepoix and caramelize on high heat, then deglaze with marinade that you reserved. Bring this to a boil and add back the shoulder, and add the beef or game stock. Cover and put in 350-degree oven for 3 hours. Remove from oven and strain liquid into a clean sauce pot. While shoulder is still hot, but cool enough to handle, pull meat off into shreds and set aside. Reduce liquid by half and reserve.

Preparing the garlic confit:

1.Heat oil in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic; cook over very low heat until soft, about 1 hour (do not brown). DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 month ahead. Keep chilled and completely covered in oil. Always use clean spoon to remove garlic.
2.Reserve half of your cloves for garnish and smash the rest into a paste with the back of a fork.

Preparing the mushroom caps:

1.Wash your cremini mushrooms with a damp towel and remove stems.
2.Remove the gills of the mushroom with a spoon.
3.Take the braised shoulder meat and mix with confit garlic paste, old cheddar and half the reduced braising liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Stuff your cleaned mushroom caps with this mixture.
4.Place on baking sheet and put in smoker or bake in oven for 10 – 13 minutes at 350 degrees.
5.Reheat your remaining braising liquid and place in the bottom of your platter. Place the warm smoked mushrooms on top of the juice. Garnish with a little grated cheddar, the reserved garlic confit cloves, and some celery leaves. Enjoy!