Spice-Roasted Cervena Venison Chops, Chanterelles, and Blackberries

Adapted by StarChefs.com
October 2011
Yield: 4 Servings


Red Wine and Blackberry Reduction
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
2 to 3 cloves
2 to 3 hot fresh chili peppers
½ cup blackberries
2 cups stock made from venison bones
750 milliliters Cabernet Sauvignon wine
Venison and Spice Crust
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons toasted and ground ancho chili powder
2 tablespoons toasted and ground coriander seeds
2 tablespoons toasted and ground cumin seeds
2 tablespoons toasted and ground cardamom
2 tablespoons celery salt
2 tablespoons dry rosemary
2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoons ground garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
½ pound Nueske’s Applewood smoked bacon
1 8-bone rack of Cervena venison cut into chops
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ pound chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned, stems lightly peeled
1 small shallot, peeled and finely minced
¼ cup flat leaf parsley leaves
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
To Assemble and Serve
2 tablespoons olive oil
Roasted garlic cloves
Fresh thyme sprigs
½ cup blackberries


For the Red Wine and Blackberry Reduction:
Put the oil and onion into a saucepan over low heat and cook until lightly caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add the carrot, cinnamon, garlic, chili peppers, and blackberries and cook until softened, about 12 minutes. Add the venison stock and cook until reduced by half. Add the wine and reduce by three-quarters. Strain and season with salt and black pepper; reserve warm.

For the Venison Spice Crust:
Combine the brown sugar, ancho chili powder, coriander, cumin, cardamom, celery salt, rosemary, thyme, garlic, red pepper, nutmeg, and cloves in a bowl. Press the venison flesh into the spice mixture and reserve. Cut the bacon into ½ thick lardons, heat a skillet, and cook the bacon over medium heat until thoroughly cooked and crispy at the edges. Reserve the bacon and the bacon drippings.

For the Chanterelles:
Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat for 30 seconds, add the mushrooms, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the shallot to the pan and cook 1 minute more before adding the parsley and several grates of nutmeg. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper, add the butter, and remove from the flame. Reserve warm.

To Assemble and Serve:
Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon drippings in a heavy skillet. Add the garlic cloves and thyme sprigs, and sear the venison chops on both sides, cooking for 5 to 6 minutes total. While cooking, add the reserved lardons to the pan. Plate 2 chops and spoon the lardons and Chanterelles to the side. Drizzle some Red Wine and Blackberry Reduction around the plate and sprinkle roasted garlic cloves and thyme over the venison. Finish the plate with some whole fresh blackberries.