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PREP: 20 Minutes COOK: 40 Minutes

Serves 3-4

Difficulty: Simple

This elegant dish is festive enough for a holiday table and it’s relative ease in preparation makes it workable for an everyday feast as well. Rosemary and black pepper make for a simple yet vibrantly flavored coating for the meaty racks and nicely compliment the sweet tart flavors of the pan sauce. One surprise in the sauce is the addition of pickled cocktail onions which lend a welcome acidic allium pop to help balance out the sweetness in the sauce. They are available in most supermarkets or liquor stores, or perhaps gathering dust in your home bar. You could also use dried tart cherries in the dish with equally delicious results.

  • 2 packs venison 4 rib racks
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 Tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp neutral oil
  • 3/4 cup ruby port wine
  • 1/2 venison bone broth, or low sodium beef or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pickled cocktail onions
  • 1 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

First, Preheat oven to 400° F. Then season the racks all over with 1 tsp salt and set aside to prepare and assemble the rest of the ingredients. 

STEP 2 :

Mix together black pepper and rosemary. Set aside 1 tsp to garnish the final dish. When the oven has preheated, drizzle the racks with 1/2 Tbsp oil and rub all over  then coat with the remaining rosemary pepper mixture, pressing well to ensure that it sticks to the racks.


Place a large, oven-proof pan over medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil. When hot, add the racks flat (fat) side down and cook undisturbed for 1 minute to lightly brown. Turn the racks so they are standing on their sides and cook for another minute. Flip to the other side and cook for another minute. Finally, turn the racks over to the last uncooked side (opposite of the first-cooked side) and place in the oven.


Roast the racks until they hit 125° F on an instant read thermometer for medium rare, about 20-25 minutes. When the racks are done, remove from the oven and set them on a cutting board to rest.

STEP 5 :

Place a pan over medium-high heat and add the port, broth, cranberries, cocktail onions, and vinegar. Simmer, scraping up any crusty brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until the liquid has reduced by about 2/3 and thickened slightly. 


Off the heat, add butter and swirl the pan until the butter has melted and the sauce is glossy. Stir in any accumulated meat juices from the racks. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.


Slice the racks in between the ribs into chops and place on serving plates. Spoon the sauce over or around the chops as desired and sprinkle the chops with the remaining tsp of the rosemary-pepper mixture. Enjoy!

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