Eating elk or moose can, like much other game, be a rather chewy experience. In this recipe I have taken full advantage of the large quantity of connective tissue in the tougher, and therefore cheaper, cuts of meat. When baked for a long time, this tissue is actually transformed to gelatin, which makes the meat incredibly tender and juicy.
When I made this in France, I baked the meat inside a huge fire. For practical reasons I’ve given instructions for more traditional, indoor cooking below. You will notice that cooking the dish takes a tremendous amount of time. But apart from that, it demands very little handling, and may well be made the day before. (It may even be left in the oven overnight at 180°F (85°C).)
Serve with Cognac Beurre Chantilly and boiled leek.
The meat: Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium high heat. When foamy, but not brown, sear the meat for 1-2 minutes on all sides until golden brown. Add the cognac and, standing back, ignite it with a match or a lighter. Turn off the heat, and let the fire burn out. (Do not put the fire out unless it is an emergency, as you want the alcohol to evaporate.)
Transfer the meat and cooking juices to a Rohmer Topf (or other kind ovenproof dish with a lid. If you don’t have a lid, cover with multiple layers of aluminum foil). Rub the meat with ramson purée. Add cranberries, grapes (some of them gently crushed for additional juice), juniper berries, green pepper, whole shallots, and garlic.
Bake in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for 1 hour. Reduce the temperature to 200°F (90°C) for 6-12 hours.
The leek: Bring water to the boil in a medium pot. Add salt. Cut the leek in 8 pieces and boil for 8-10 minutes until tender.