Braised boneless deer neck stuffed with mushroom duxelles

Discussion in 'Nose to Tail' started by snorkelinggirl, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My husband got his first deer back in December, and we processed it ourselves on the kitchen counter. The cut that I have agonized over the most was the deer neck. Various long time hunters that we know swear that braised whole bone-in deer neck is the best roast on a deer, but the CDC recommends boning out the entire deer to minimize the risk of exposure to Chronic Wasting Disease.

    I am a dedicated nose-to-tail cook, but I am also a nurse and therefore a professional hypochondriac. So I opted to bone out the deer neck and toss out the vertebrae.

    Here was my trimmed deer neck, about 3 lbs. It came from a small spike whitetail deer.

    This is what I ended up with after just using a boning knife to remove the vertebrae. Not a ton of meat, maybe just over a lb. But spinal cord free!

    I couldn't find too many recipes on the internet on what to do with a deboned deer neck, so I winged it and decided to make mushroom duxelles to use as a filling and make roulades. Mushrooms make everything taste better IMHO, and I've seen other deer braise recipes that use mushrooms.

    The mushroom duxelles recipe I followed is from a local cookbook author and painter named Jan Roberts-Dominguez. You mince 2 shallots, 2 Tbsp onion, and 1 lb of fresh mushrooms in a food processor. Do it in 2 batches.

    Saute them with 1/2 cup of butter until the mushrooms are dry and slightly darkened.

    You could add in some wine, sherry, or madeira and let that cook off if you want. I didn't, because I wanted to keep the flavors simple. Season with salt and pepper.

    I then spread some of the slightly cooled duxelles over the deer neck, sprinkled it with fresh thyme leaves, and some extra salt and pepper.

    Then I rolled them up and tied them into little roulades. More salt and pepper on the outside.

    Seared them in some olive oil.

    Deglazed with 1/2 cup of red wine, added 2 cups of beef stock. Returned the deer to the pan, covered it, and let it braise in the oven at around 300 deg F for 2 1/2 hours until I could easily slip a knife through it.

    Removed the roulades from the pan and covered them with aluminum foil to keep warm. Reduced the braising liquid down some, added in heavy cream, mustard, capers, and more fresh thyme to make a sauce. My inspiration on the sauce comes from The Pioneer Woman and her recipe "Short Ribs with Wine and Cream."

    Sliced the roulade. It held together nicely, although I might throw some bread crumbs in there next time.

    And a couple of plated shots with the pan sauce.

    The deer neck came out very tender and tasty using this cooking method, and the flavors from the duxelles and pan sauce were great. If my husband is so awesome as to get another deer at some point in the future, I'd make this again.

    Thanks for reading!
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks awesome. I hate boning a neck. How did you get two big chunks like that?
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Clarissa, Awesome!!!!!
  4. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brilliant simply brilliant.[​IMG]Great knife work & instincts on the flavours.Mushrooms & venison has got that forest forager feel. I don't know why but it says Alpine to me.

    It would be a great winter meal with a bottle of shiraz. Don't know anything about CWD here.
  5. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey C,

    Thanks for checking out my post. I ran my knife lengthwise along the top of the neck, and then lengthwise along the bottom of the neck, to separate the meat into 2 halves. Then I peeled away each half from the vertebrae using the boning wasn't too bad except for a few of the vertebrae that had longer spines sticking out that you have to cut around. You end up with 2 flat rectangular sections about 1/2" or so thick, and if you want to work harder you can dig around and get some more meat out as trim closer in to the vertebrae.

    Have a great night!
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  6. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you, Case!! Housebound all weekend with the big snow/ice dump, so it was a good time to spend in the kitchen. Thank you for the points!!

    Hope you made it through your record snowfall without any problems. Stay safe, and have a great night!

    Hey Mick, thank you for the compliments!! When I was checking out internet recipes on braising deer I saw a few recipes that had mushrooms in the braising sauce. I figured, mushrooms inside the deer would be even better. We have got piles of snow and ice on the ground right now, so yep! got the wood stove going, bottle of red wine open, and a nice roast braising in the oven. What can be better?

    I don't know how if CWD is in our Oregon deer herds or not, but I'll sleep easier not worrying about it.

    Have a great night!
  7. Clarissa, you are incredible!

    I've missed your posts and am thus so happy to see one of your spectacular creations again! You are indeed a "dedicated" nose to tail cook, and I'll add to that, "MASTER" of such doings. You are amazing!

    This is truly beautiful and it was really exciting to follow each step and se each terrific photo! You're such a professional!!!


    Cheers and happy brand new and better than ever week!!!!!!!!!! - Leah
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great use of neck meat..... sure beats making it into a stew.... the sauce sounds delish..... Thumbs Up...Thumbs Up

  9. smokeymagoo

    smokeymagoo Smoke Blower

    War of Attrition  is the best way to describe boning the neck. Glad to see you do it. I see to many hunters just toss it. That roulade looks absolutely  great..  I like spicy mustard in pickles in mine as well but never done it with deer i always use round. That will be on the menu really really soon. Thanks for the idea.
  10. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you for the extravagant compliments, Leah! And also thank you for the points!

    As you said, it has been a little while since I've posted a thread.....I've been cooking, of course, but nothing new or exciting or post-worthy. It was fun to have a new cut of meat to play with.

    Thanks very much for reading, and you have a great week too!

    Good morning, Dave! Thank you!! Stew was my back up plan for the neck meat if I couldn't get it off the bones in a semi-decent piece, but I'm glad it worked out the way it did. The sauce was good....nice bright flavors that really worked well with the earthier taste of the deer and mushrooms.

    Thanks for reading, and have a great week!
  11. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey smokey, thank you for reading! I deboned the neck first thing yesterday morning, even before I had a cup of coffee. Otherwise I would have spent all day putting if off and dreading doing it. No fun to do, but not as bad as I thought it might be. A nice cut of meat when cooked low and slow, a shame that folks throw it away. Spicy mustard and pickles would have been great with this as well, nice bright acidity to perk up the flavor.

    Thanks again for stopping by, and have a great week!
  12. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I love this site for its originality and inventiveness. This post is a perfect example. Great work. 

  13. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    A lot of good flavor when that roast starts to break down. At first I thought I was looking at fatty being built. Congrats on your OTBS membership!
  14. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you so much for your kind compliments, Disco! As much as I love tried-and-true favorites, it is nice to do something different once in a while too.

    And congrats to you on getting OTBS!! Have a great day!

    Hi Todd, Thank you so much!! I'm pretty chuffed about the OTBS promotion, it put a big smile on my face for the day.

    There was great flavor with this neck roast. I can see why some experienced hunters say that it is the best roast on the deer. I still haven't tried the deer sirloin roasts yet, but I was planning to lard, bacon-weave-wrap, and then smoke those. So we'll see.

    Thanks for reading, and have a great day!
  15. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There might be a reason there is little printed about "Boneless" venison neck......... You have to have the skill of a surgeon and the patience of a saint.

    I have had 'em roasted whole, didn't know about the wasting disease back then, heck not sure we'd even heard of the CDC either...LOL It was the camp specialty at a friends camp, it was roasted with sweet taters and bacon the third night, second night was always backstrap and eggs.

    Your culinary skills always amaze M'Lady.

    /whisper I won't tell, did ya not cut at least one finger one time?
  16. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I bet the flavor was great when left on the bones too. Ah, simpler times.

    And, yes, the only thing that saved my fingers were the bandaids that were already covering them. :biggrin:
  17. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    /whisper I won't tell, did ya not cut at least one finger one time?

    And, yes, the only thing that saved my fingers were the bandaids that were already covering them.

    A trick I learned from doing taxidermy > Wear powder free surgical gloves when butchering & boning meats. You'll be surprised at the number of cuts in the gloves that never break your skin!
  18. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Excellent! Thanks for the tip!
  19. Great post!!  Sounded like it was a huge success thanks for sharing.
  20. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you, LG! It was a very tasty dinner. Thank you for the compliments and for stopping by!

    Have a great night!

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