Seared Venison Chops


  • 2 (8-ounce) venison rib chops
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fine diced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup crushed fresh huckleberries, or defrosted if frozen
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup gin
  • 1 cup demi-glace
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter
  • Sautéed Baby Spinach:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 10 ounces baby spinach, washed and slightly damp
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Garlic Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes:
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper


Garlic Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes: Lightly season the venison chops on both sides with salt and black pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. When the oil starts to smoke, add the chops and sear for 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and turn the chops. For medium-rare, cook the chops for 2 to 3 minutes on the second side. Transfer the chops to a plate and let rest, covered loosely with foil. Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the huckleberries, sugar and rosemary and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and red wine and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add the gin, being careful of flames, and stir to deglaze the pan. (Alternately, remove the pan from the heat and ignite with a match.) When the flames die out, add the demi-glace and sage, and stir well. For the Spinach: In a large skillet, melt the butter and warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and crushed red pepper, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the spinach in 2 batches and cook, turning, until wilted and the moisture has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the spinach from the heat and adjust seasoning, to taste. Return the chops to the pan and cook to warm the meat through, about 1 minute. Add the cold butter, salt and cracked black pepper ,to taste, and swirl to incorporate. Remove from the heat. To serve, place 1/2 of the potatoes and spinach on each of 2 large plates, and place 1 chop on top of the potatoes. Pour the sauce over the chops and around the plates. Serve immediately. In a medium saucepan, combine the potatoes and enough salted water to cover by 1-inch. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 12 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, in a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until caramelized and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cream. Return to medium-low heat to gently warm the cream. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Return to the pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring with a heavy wooden spoon or whrisk, to remove the excess moisture, about 1 minute. Add the garlic cream and cook, stirring, until the potatoes are mashed and smooth, about 4 minutes. Season the potatoes with the salt and white pepper. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve.