The Merchant of Venison Chops with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce and Bulgur Porridge

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Inactive: 30 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

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

Sauce:

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

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. To serve, place some bulgur porridge in the middle of each serving plate. Top with a venison chop and spoon mushrooms and sauce over and around.

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