These bone-in Venison Loin Chops offer a small nugget of delicate tenderloin and a nice portion of lean loin meat that is best cooked either grilled or pan-seared. Complimented with reduced balsamic vinegar, it adds a complex sweetness with just a hint of acidity that pairs nicely with the luscious, herbal red pepper sauce. Don’t use your finest vinegar for this recipe; everyday supermarket balsamic is just fine. You can buy balsamic glaze at the store, but it’s super easy to make yourself (instructions included).
RECIPE BY MARK COCKCROFT
- 2 packs Maui Nui venison loin chops
- 1-1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 large shallot, minced or ½ cup diced red onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (16oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained (see note below)
- 1 Tbsp capers
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice or red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or parsley (or both!)
- 2 tsp Calabrian chile condiment or ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- *Note jarred roasted peppers can be used for convenience but feel free to roast your own – about 2 large or 3 medium-sized ones should do the trick.
Start by seasoning both sides of the chops with ½ tsp salt and set aside.
In a small saucepan bring the balsamic vinegar to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce by about half until just beginning to thicken and get syrupy. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a small sauté pan, add 2 Tbsp of the olive oil and place over medium heat.
Add the shallot and cook until just starting to soften, adjusting heat as necessary to avoid browning. Then add garlic and sauté for one minute. Remove from heat.
Place roasted peppers in a blender or food processor and add the shallots, garlic, and oil from the pan. Add the capers, lemon juice, honey, basil, chile (if using), the remaining tsp of salt, and a few grindings of black pepper. Process until all ingredients of fully incorporated. You can leave it with a little texture or process it until it is smooth.
Cook the chops (grill or pan sear) to your liking. Grill for about 2 minutes on all sides until the loin chops reach about 125F for medium-rare, about 8 minutes total on a fairly hot grill or medium-high pan. Pat the chops dry with a paper towel and rub a little oil on them before cooking to promote browning and prevent sticking to the grill or pan.
For service, spread a generous portion of the pepper sauce on a plate, place a chop or two (depending on their size) on the sauce, and drizzle with about 1 Tbsp of the glaze. Enjoy!