Ditte Isager
Summer Game & the Forest Floor, adapted from René Redzepi: A Work in Progress by René Redzepi.
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Summer Game & the Forest Floor

René Redzepi, A Work in Progress: Journal, Recipes and Snapshots - December 6th, 2013

This recipe has been adapted from René Redzepi: A Work in Progress by René Redzepi―a book featured in Words-to-Table Cooking, Food Arts' yearly roundup of chef-authored cookbooks.

Serves 4

Ramson caper crumbs:

  • 50g ramson (wild garlic) capers
  • 20g unripe juniper berries
  • 10g nettles, chopped

Chop capers, juniper berries, and nettles to a fine crumb; cover in airtight container; reserve in refrigerator.


  • 12 live snails
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 3 woodruff sprigs
  • 1/2 garlic clove

Place snails in wide pan; pour boiling water over snails; infuse 1 minute; cool; remove snails from shells; place in pan with thyme, woodruff, and garlic; cover with water; place in oven; braise 1 ½ hours, or until tender.

Snail glace:

  • 2 lg. cucumbers
  • 50g mushroom stock
  • 10g butter
  • salt
  • birch wine, reduced
  1. Heat a grill.

  2. Chargrill cucumbers until blackened; vacuum-pack; rest 30 minutes; strain juice (discard cucumbers); combine 50g juice with mushroom stock; emulsify butter into liquid; glaze snails; season with salt and birch wine; reserve.

Mushroom sauce:

  • 2kg button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/2 leek, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 carrot, finely chopped
  • grapeseed oil
  • 2g dried morels
  • 2g dried porcini
  • 500g light chicken stock
  • 1kg water
  • egg whites, beaten
  • mushroom stock, reduced
  • birch wine, reduced
  • porcini oil

Sauté mushrooms, leek, onion, and carrot in small amount oil until golden and caramelized; transfer to a pan with dried mushrooms, chicken stock, and water; simmer 1 hour, skimming any fat; strain; clarify with egg whites; strain; reduce until thickened; season with mushroom stock and birch wine; split with porcini oil; reserve.


  • 200g venison loin
  • 10g butter, plus more for glazing
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • grapeseed oil
  • 25g chicken glace
  • salt

Vacuum-pack venison loin with 10g butter and thyme; cook in water bath at 136°F, 8 minutes; dry venison; sear over medium-high heat; glaze with small amount of butter and chicken glace; roll venison in ramson caper crumbs; season; portion; reserve (keep warm).


  • 100ml water
  • 200g butter
  • fiddlehead ferns
  • forest moss
  • hop shoots
  • salt

Boil water; emulsify butter into water; add fiddleheads and moss; cook 20 seconds; spoon small amount hot butter emulsion over hop shoots; cook gently; drain on parchment paper; season; reserve (keep warm).


  • 4 baby cucumbers
  • small chanterelles
  • butter
  • thyme sprig
  • medium hop leaves
  • vine leaves
  • pickled beech leaves
  • large chickweed sprigs

Chargrill baby cucumbers on one side; place each on warmed plate; place venison on plate; add snails; fry chanterelles in butter and thyme 20 seconds; divide among plates; arrange garnish over plates, placing leaves and chickweed sprigs on top of cooked garnish; serve with mushroom sauce immediately.

Adapted from René Redzepi: A Work in Progress (November 11, 2013; $59.95) Phaidon Press, www.phaidon.com.