GRAIN-CRUSTED VENISON;LAMBIC-BRAISED RED CABBAGE, HONEYCRISP APPLES
INSPIRED BY ONE of his mother’s specialties, marinated red cabbage, Chef de Cuisine Eddy Leroux, who hails from northern France near the Belgian border, bathes a julienne of red cabbage in raspberry lambic beer before braising it with apples and onions, a nod to traditional sweet but sharp Belgian fare. In contrast, the thick loin of ruby-rare venison is crusted with nutty oat flakes, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, and cocoa nibs, and supports three cubes of silky seared foie gras.
Cut the foie gras into twelve ¾-inch cubes; wrap tightly and reserve, chilled. Roughly chop the remaining trim, place in a small saucepan, and place over low heat. Cook, without coloring, until the fat has rendered, about 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and reserve the fat, chilled.
For the Honeycrisp Apple Cubes
Preheat a steam oven or stovetop steamer. Peel at least twelve 3-inch strips from the apples and square off the edges; reserve for apple skin chips. Cut the apples into at least twelve ¾-inch cubes; cut ½ cup of the trim into small dice and reserve for the cabbage. Toss the apple cubes with the lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper and steam for 10 minutes, or until tender. Reserve, chilled.
For the Lambic-Braised Red Cabbage
Quarter the cabbage, remove the core, and slice the leaves into a thin julienne. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with the beer, orange peel, orange juice, and apple trim. Cover and marinate refrigerated overnight, or up to 24 hours.
Strain the cabbage, reserving the liquid. Heat the foie gras fat in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat and add the onion, chili flakes, and cinnamon stick. Cook, stirring, without coloring, for 10 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Add the marinating liquid, bring to a boil, and cook at a light simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender and the liquid is reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 45 minutes. If needed, add spoonfuls of water if the liquid glazes before the cabbage is tender. Stir in the butter and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper; reserve, warm.
For the Grain-Crusted Venison
In a shallow bowl, combine the oat flakes, pumpkin seeds, cocoa nibs, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds. Lightly dust the top side of each venison portion with the flour, brush with the beaten egg, then dip into the grain crust mixture, pressing to adhere.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Rest the venison at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Slice the Lady apples into very thin half-moons into a small bowl and toss with the apple mustard.
Transfer the venison jus to a small saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with raspberry vinegar.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the clarified butter until it foams. Place the venison portions crust side down in the pan and sear for 3 minutes, to brown the crust, while basting with the butter. Turn the venison over, add the garlic and thyme, and continue to sear over medium heat while basting the top, about 3 more minutes or until the venison is medium-rare, 130°F. If needed, transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking.
Transfer the apple cubes to a small sauté pan with the reserved foie gras fat over medium heat and toss to heat through; adjust the seasoning.
Heat a medium sauté pan over high heat. Season the reserved foie gras cubes on all sides with salt and pepper and brown on all sides, about 10 seconds each.
For each serving, place a large spoonful of cabbage in the center of a warm deep dinner plate. Place a portion of venison on top and spoon venison jus around. Line the side of the dish with 3 apple cubes, 3 slices of mustard-coated Lady apple, 3 apple skin chips, and 3 yellow celery leaves. Drizzle a few drops of foie gras fat on the jus and top the venison with a sprig of chervil.