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PREP: 30 Minutes COOK: 15 Minutes

Serves 3-4

Difficulty: Intermediate

Compound butters are an easy way to add a touch of richness and a ton of flavor to any dish. Your imagination is the only limit when it comes to the flavor combinations that are possible in the butter mixture. This particular combo joins the luscious butter with coffee for a hit of roasty, chocolaty bitterness and some chipotle chile for a bit of heat and smokiness, attributes which are well suited to the lean venison, especially cuts from the grill with their spots of char from the flames, along with a few other spices and seasonings for a tasty mixture. This recipe makes more than enough butter for 4 servings and can easily be stored for other meals.

  • 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1-1/2 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 8oz softened salted butter
  • 1 Tbsp ground coffee
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 2 packs (about 2 lbs) Maui Nui venison rib chops
  • 1 Tbsp neutral oil (avocado or canola work well), plus more to lube the grill grates
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

Place a small skillet over medium-high heat and add the peppercorns, cumin and coriander seeds. Cook, shaking the pan often, until a few wisps of smoke arise from the pan. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the spices into a bowl to cool. 

STEP 2 :

You can make the compound butter in a food processor or a bowl mashing all the ingredients together with a rubber spatula (just make sure to finely chop up the chipotle chile if making the butter by hand). When the spices have cooled grind them in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle then add them to the base of a food processor or medium bowl with the softened butter, ground coffee, cocoa powder, brown sugar, mustard, lime juice, and chipotle chile. Process or mash until everything is well incorporated.


To make the rib chops (or any other venison steak cut) prep your grill for cooking. Clean the grates and oil them to help prevent sticking. If using a charcoal grill arrange and light coals on one half of the grill to make a super hot spot (or turn on all your burners to high if using a gas grill) and close the lid to preheat the grill. 

STEP 5 :

Pat the chops dry with paper towels and then rub all over with the oil and season with the tsp salt then place on hot grill until nicely browned, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the chops for another minute or so for medium rare. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to suit your desired degree of doneness.

*A meat thermometer can really help with achieving success aiming for 115-120° F when you pull the meat off the grill. It will continue to cook when resting for a few minutes before serving.


Put the chops on a platter and generously spoon pats of the butter all over the meat. Tent with foil and let rest for about 5 minutes. The butter should have mostly melted and mingled with the meat juices creating a decadent sauce. Serve the chops and drizzle them with the butter-meat juice mixture. Be prepared for lots of contented sighs…


This recipe makes more than enough compound butter for 2 meals (for 4 people) so I like to take half or so of the butter and put it in a small bowl or ramekin for immediate use and save half for another meal. I find the best way to preserve the butter is to put the other half in the middle of a bit of parchment or wax paper (about 12x8” is good) and roughly shape it into a log with a rubber spatula or bench scraper. Then roll it up moderately tightly, continuing to shape it as you go along. Twist the ends to tighten the package and help firm up the log shape. Store in the fridge for a week or in the freezer in a zip lock bag for a couple of months.

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