Inspiration for Executive Chefs
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Porcini-crusted Venison, Gnocchi & Oxtail Ragu

Executive Chef Joe Youkhan
Chat Noir

(Serves 4)

2 tablespoons dried porcinis
2 tablespoons kosher salt
4 3-ounce pieces of venison tenderloin
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
2 cups gnocchi, prepared (recipe follows)
1 cup oxtail ragu, prepared (recipe follows)
½ cup chanterelles, prepared (recipe follows)

In a coffee grinder, combine dried porcinis and salt, pulse to powder consistency.
Liberally coat entire surface area of tenderloins with mixture.
In a medium sauté pan add oil & over med/high heat, sear off all sides of venison. Place into a 350° oven for approximately 3 minutes (until rare, 120° internally temperature) and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
In a medium sauté pan add oil and cook off gnocchi over medium/high heat until heated through and caramelized. Add oxtail ragu and toss with gnocchi.
Lay ¼ cup of gnocchi on each plate topped with 3 slices of venison. Top with chanterelles.

3 pounds russet potatoes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, extra large
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup canola oil
Bake potatoes in a 350° oven until they are soft (about 45 minutes). While still warm, peel and pass through vegetable mill onto clean pasta board.
Set 6 quarts of water to boil in a large spaghetti pot. Set up ice bath with 6 cups ice and 6 cups water near boiling water.
Make well in center of potatoes. Add all the flour. Place egg and salt in center of well and using a fork, stir into flour and potatoes, just like making normal pasta. Once egg is mixed in, bring dough together, kneading gently until a ball is formed. Knead gently another 4 minutes until ball is dry to touch.
Roll baseball-sized ball of dough into 3/4-inch diameter dowels and cut dowels into 1-inch long pieces. Flick pieces off of fork until dowel is finished. Drop these pieces into boiling water and cook until they float (about 1 minute). Meanwhile, continue with remaining dough, forming dowels, cutting into 1-inch pieces and flicking off of fork. As gnocchi float to top of boiling water, remove them to ice bath. Continue until all have been cooled. Let sit several minutes in bath and drain. Toss with canola oil and store covered in refrigerator up to 48 hours until ready to serve.

Oxtail Ragu
4 pounds oxtails
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 bacon slices, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 large celery stalks, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine
1 (28-ounce) can chopped Italian tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can beef broth

Season oxtails on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add bacon and cook until fat is rendered. Remove bacon, using slotted spoon and reserve. Increase heat to high. Add oxtails and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer oxtails to plate.
Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic to Dutch oven, reduce heat to medium and cook until tender. Mix in tomato paste and thyme. Add wine and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Boil until liquid is reduced by half. Add tomatoes and broth. Return oxtails with any juices and bacon to Dutch oven. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Uncover and simmer until liquid is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
Strain the braising liquid and shred the oxtail meat, discarding any bone. Combine the braising liquid with the shredded meat.


2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms, torn apart into uniform pieces
1/4 cup sliced shallot rings (about 4 large shallots)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon butter

Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large pan over high heat. Add 1/2 of the mushrooms and shallots in 1 layer to sear or brown them evenly. After a few moments, stir and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper and add half of the tarragon and the butter and stir to incorporate. Repeat this process again to keep mushrooms from cooking in their own liquid and getting too wet.

Inspiration for Executive Chefs