Pan-seared loin chops serve as a flavorful canvas brought to life with an invigorating combination of anchovies, raisins, and brined capers - creating the perfect balance between mild saltiness, sweetness, and acidity. Add extra salt or fish sauce to kick up the flavor even more - or for extra zest, consider adding an optional teaspoonful of Dijon mustard.
RECIPE BY MARK COCKCROFT
- 1 package (about 1 lb) Maui Nui venison loin chops
- ¼ cup raisins, regular or golden
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice, plus more as needed
- Fine sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp brined capers, drained
- 2 Tbsp roughly chopped parsley
- 2oz tin anchovies packed in oil
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (reserve 1 Tbsp for cooking chops)
- Chopped chives or parsley for garnish (optional
Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with the water. Allow to plump for 30 minutes. Season the chops with salt and pepper and set aside.
When the raisins are ready add them and their soaking liquid to a blender (a small one works best, but any will do (or simply just mash everything together in a mortar and pestle for a rustic version of the sauce) along with the garlic, lemon juice, capers, parsley, anchovies with their oil, and the olive oil (remember to save 1 Tbsp).
Blend until the sauce is smooth and emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking for salt and acidity, then set aside.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the reserved Tbsp of olive oil. When the pan is hot add the chops and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes.
Flip and cook another 2 minutes. Turn and cook the sides for 30 to 60 seconds each to color them. This should be just about right for medium-raw meat (around 125°F). Adjust your cooking time accordingly to your doneness preference. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes on a cutting board.