The Merchant of Venison Chops with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce and Bulgur Porridge
- Venison chops:
- 6 (6 to 7-ounce) venison chops
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 3 star anise
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 cups white mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
- 1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Bulgur Porridge:
- 1 cup bulgur (because it is pre-steamed, it can be soaked in boiling water to make it meal-ready)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Rinse venison chops and pat dry with paper towels. In a coffee grinder dedicated to spices or with a mortar and pestle, grind the juniper berries, coriander seeds, star anise, salt and peppercorns together into a powder. Rub all sides of the chops with the spice mixture. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan (deep enough to accommodate the chops and sauce) and sear the chops, leaving undisturbed for 2 minutes on each side to allow the spices to integrate into the surface of the meat. Remove chops to a utility platter.
In the same pan, over medium-high heat, saute the shallots until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until they give up their juices. Add the wine and let cook for about 5 minutes. Then reduce heat to medium-low, return the chops to the pan, cover, and let cook until the chops are tender, about 35 minutes. Transfer the chops to a platter and increase the heat under the pan of mushrooms and sauce and allow to reduce by two-thirds.
While the chops are cooking and the sauce is reducing, prepare the bulgur porridge which was traditionally served with venison as a digestive aid. Because it is pre-steamed, it can be soaked in boiling water to make it meal-ready. Put bulgur and salt in a mixing bowl. Add 2 1/2 cups boiling water, cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
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