I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for this post! In the area of the country we live in hunting is very prevalent. If the season works out in our favor we end up with venison in our freezer to enjoy throughout the year. What does one do with this meat?
People tend to find venison challenging to prepare, I am guessing this is because though it is similar to beef it has a finer texture, a lower fat content and a higher water content. What do I do with this meat I asked myself many, many years ago. When I inquired people gave me recipes that seemed to cover the meat flavor. It was almost as if people were eating it begrudgingly, and force feeding it to their children. Even the hunting magazines would recommend making beautiful backstraps into chicken fried steak with butter cracker crumbs. If that is how you enjoy it, I am happy for you. If you want to try something new, keep on reading, I promise it will get awesome…
Today we are preparing chops. Venison chops are cut from the rib area of the deer, this tender meat runs along the spine. Sidenote… In the event you don’t enjoy or have any venison feel free too substitute lamb or grassfed beef either rib or shoulder chops for the venison.
Alright, lets do this! My chops were beautifully butterflied and ready for me to work with, so I grabbed my trusty spice blend (see recipe below), it contains smoky, sweet, earthy and savory elements, think smoked paprika, cumin, thyme, coconut sugar (or brown if you prefer), thyme…and seasoned them on both sides. Crushed a couple of garlic cloves, sliced a sweet yellow onion, and sliced up a portobella mushroom I had hanging around.
Next step heat that pan up. I grabbed a sauté pan, in retrospect a cast iron pan probably would have brought it up even another level. Heat your pan over medium high heat. When your pan is hot, drizzle in about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, add your chops and sear for 3-4 minutes. Don’t touch the chops once you put them in the pan until the 3-4 minutes is up. This is super important as if you begin to shift them around, they may stick and you will ruin the beautiful crust you are trying to achieve.
Once they are nice and browned on the first side, give them a quick flip to sear the other side. Once you flip them add the onions, garlic and mushroom to pan around the chops and continue to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes again not moving the meat. You will have to move the garlic, onion, mushroom mix around a bit to keep it from burning. After you sear the second side, flip your chops once more time, that makes 2 flips, add the wine to the pan and allow to reduce by half as your chops finish cooking, approximately 2 minutes. Remove the chops from the pan place on a warm serving platter, pour everything from pan on top scraping any browned bits off. Don’t leave all that extra yumminess behind!
Allow to rest for about 5 minutes under foil. Your chops should be medium following this time guideline. If you prefer them more rare, or more well done make adjustments accordingly (+ or -1 minute at a time until desired temperature is reached).
No joke, my kids inhaled this as did my husband. No nagging was involved, no bribery, no convincing. Just straight up silence as they chewed. Silence is golden as we all know especially when your house is a zoo, like mine. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and know these are the glory days, and someday, sooner than I realize my house will be quiet again. Yet sometimes just a nice peaceful dinner is nice. In the spirit of a traditional midwest family dinner, my plate has mixed veggies and some lovely roasted squash. I seasoned my squash the same as the venison with my smokey spice blend and roasted it until it was golden. As for the fancy (okay they weren’t) veggies, just a quick steam and a grind of sea salt and black pepper, topped with a little butter. Cheers!
I hope you enjoy your venison more after this post! Feel free to reach out to me if you want more tips or tricks. If you make this add a picture or comment to the post, I always love to hear from you!
- 1.5 lbs venison chops butterflied
- 1 portobello mushroom cap cleaned and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Spice blend (recipe follows)
- Spice blend recipe:
- 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- 1 Tablespoon thyme
- 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar (brown sugar can be subbed if preferred)
- salt and pepper to your preference
- Heat sauté pan over medium high heat
- Once pan is hot drizzle in olive oil
- Add venison chops to pan being careful not to move them once they touch the pan
- Allow to sear for 3-4 minutes or until nicely browned
- Flip to sear second side, adding onions, garlic, and mushroom around the meat.
- Stir the onions, garlic and mushroom occasionally to keep from burning, being careful not to move the meat.
- After the second side has seared, add the white wine and allow to simmer until reduced to half, about 2 minutes.
- Remove meat to warm serving dish, top with onion, garlic, mushroom blend and pan sauce, being sure to include any browned bits that may be stuck to pan.