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Seared Venison Chops With Elderberry Reduction, Garlic Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes, And Sauteed Baby Spinach

  • Yield: 2 servings


  • 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 (elderberries, black currants, lingonberries or blueberries can be substituted)
  • 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
  • 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


  • 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.