NEW YORK (WLNY) — The taste of New Zealand is alive and well at The Musket Room in the heart of Nolita. The restaurant’s executive chef and owner Matt Lambert stops by The Couch to cook up New Zealand red deer with flavors of gin.

Roast Deer


8 oz., Leg Filet cut

1 tbsp butter

1 sprig of thyme

1 clove of garlic


Poach in boiling water for 12 minutes at 140F

Let cool until room temperature

Sear in a hot cast-iron skillet at medium/high heat until browned on both sides, about 30 seconds

Add butter, thyme, garlic and baste before removing from the pan


The deer is plated alongside generous dollops of celery root puree, juniper-flavored meringue and roasted fennel, and then the plate is drizzled with a licorice-infused jus.

Celery Root Puree


1kg celery root (Chopped into 1-inch squares)

½ cup olive oil

Salt (to taste)

1 tsp xantham

2 cups cilantro leaves

2 cups cream


Place ½ cup olive oil in a medium pot with a lid and bring to high heat on a stovetop

Place 2 cups cream to warm over low heat

Cook celery root in olive oil for 15-20 minutes, checking regularly to make sure it isn’t turning brown or darkening in color – adjust heat if necessary

Remove from heat, and place in blender with salt, xantham and cilantro

Blend on high speed slowly adding cream ¼ cup at a time until mixture is perfectly smooth and creamy (there may be some cream left over, add until the mixture appears smooth but not runny), about 10 minutes total



2 bulbs fennel

2 cups orange Juice

Salt (to taste)

Olive oil (to drizzle)

1 bunch rosemary


Cut fennel into 4-inch long pieces and place in deep-rimmed baking pan

Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and rosemary sprigs

Pour orange juice in to pan, juice should fill pan up to ¼ inch

Cover pan with aluminum foil to seal for steaming in the oven

Place sealed pan in oven at 375F for 10-15 minutes, until fennel is tender and cooked through

Juniper Meringue

Ingredients like isomalt and trimoline might sound intimidating, but they are both sugar-derived ingredients that will help your merengue come together, and can be ordered online or found at a specialty cooking store.


130gr juniper base

50gr ground juniper berries

410gr water

114gr egg white powder

½ tsp salt

160gr isomalt

126gr water

170gr trimoline


Combine juniper base ingredients in a bowl and measure 130 gr of mixture

Bring isomalt, water and trimoline to 220-225F in a sauce pan, until sugars are a “soft thread”

Pour heated sugar into bowl with the base ingredients, staying as close to the edge of the bowl as possible

Whip on high until mixture is fluffy and doubled in size, about 5-6 minutes

Licorice Jus 


1qt brown chicken stock

4 tbsp freeze dried licorice

Dash of lemon juice

Salt (to taste)


In a small sauce pan, place stock on medium heat until it reduces to 1/3 original amount

Season with salt & lemon juice

Add freeze dried licorice – upon addition, the stock should change in color

When the color has fully darkened, strain the liquid and drizzle over final dish

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