Recipe courtesy of James Babian

Spiced Rubbed Venison Chop with Cranberry Poha Chutney

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 2 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 35 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr
  • Cook: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 shallot, minced

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup spiced rum

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1 1/2 tablespoons tamarind

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon lime zest

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 cup sherry vinegar

3/4 cup poha or gooseberries

Venison rub:

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 venison rack, 8 bones, trimmed and frenched



2 ounces dried cranberries, soaked in 1-ounce brandy

4 ounces venison stock

4 ounces veal stock

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper

6 ounces maitake mushrooms, sliced and sauteed

20 pieces fiddlehead ferns, blanched and sauteed


1 small onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons butter, plus more for sauteeing

2 cups chicken stock, hot

1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme leaves

1/2 cup polenta

2 ounces Parmesan

1/2 cup corn kernels, blanched

Salt and pepper

1 egg white, whipped to medium peaks


  1. To make the chutney, place shallots and butter in a saucepan and sweat. Add the rum, cranberries, and tamarind and bring to a boil, flame the liquor and reduce the liquid by half. Add the dry spices and salt and cook until combined. Add the sugar and cook until it liquefies. Add the zests and sherry vinegar and reduce by 2/3. Add the berries and reduce to thick syrup consistency. Adjust the seasonings and set aside
  2. For the rub, mix the garlic, thyme, rosemary, pepper, coriander, and salt together. Brush the venison with oil and rub in the spices. Sear in a very hot pan with a little olive oil and then roast in the oven to an internal temperature of 135 degrees F. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
  3. To make the sauce, degrease and deglaze the searing pan with the cranberry brandy mixture. Flame and reduce the brandy, add the stock and reduce to a cream consistency. Whisk in a tablespoon of butter and season with salt and pepper. Strain sauce. Add the mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns and keep warm until ready to serve.
  4. For the polenta, saute the onions in the butter and add the chicken stock and thyme. Whisk in the polenta and continue to stir with a wooden spoon until grains are tender. Add the Parmesan, corn and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool slightly then fold in the egg whites. Place polenta in a pan or mold to set up, about 1 hour. When ready to serve, cut desired shape and saute in butter until golden brown and warmed through.
  5. To serve venison, place on large platter and serve with sauce and polenta topped with the chutney.