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PREP: 15 Minutes COOK: 35 Minutes

Serves 3-4

Difficulty: Intermediate
These Venison Chops with a Curried Butter Drizzle and Jeweled Saffron Rice is undoubtedly special occasion worthy! The golden-colored rice brings the perfect combination of savory flavor enhanced by pops of sweetness from dried fruits and pistachios. To really take it up a notch, try using Rogan Josh curry powder - this reddish spice will add a sweeter profile than traditional yellow turmeric-based curries- although any type of curry powder can also be used.
  • 1 pack of Maui Nui venison rib chops or rib racks (cut into individual chops)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1-1/2 tsp curry powder
  • Large pinch saffron
  • ¼ cup dried apricots (about 6), minced
  • ¼ cup raisins or currents
  • 4 Tbsp roasted pistachios, 3 Tbsp chopped and 1 Tbsp finely minced to a crumble/coarse dust
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1-1/2 tsp fine sea salt, divided
  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil (avocado), divided
Step 1:

In a medium sauce pot, add 1 tbsp of oil and place over medium heat. Add the onion, saffron, and ¾ tsp salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is just starting to brown.

Step 2:

 Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for another minute, stirring often. 

Step 3:

Next add the rice and cook, stirring often, until the grains are all coated with oil and beginning to become translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the water, apricot, and raisins and stir to incorporate. 

Step 4:

Bring to a boil, cover, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes then remove from the heat and let sit covered to rest for 10 minutes.

Step 5:

While rice is resting, add remaining 1 Tbsp oil to a large sauté pan and place over medium-high heat. Season the rib chops with the remaining ¾ tsp salt and add to the pan. Cook to your desired degree of doneness, turning every minute or so. For medium-rare doneness takes about 5-6 minutes total. When the chops are done remove them to a platter to rest.

Step 6:

Turn the heat down to medium and add the shallot. If the pan looks dry add another ½ Tbsp oil. Cook until the shallot has softened, about 2 minutes. Add the curry powder, stir to incorporate, and cook for about a minute.

Step 7:

Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and the butter, stirring until the butter has just melted. Taste and add salt as needed.

*Note Some curry powders can be a bit astringent so you can add a pinch of sugar or a drop or two of honey to balance things out if necessary.

Step 8:

Add the 3 Tbsp chopped pistachios and cilantro to the rice and fluff with a fork. Divide the rice among plates and top with the chops. Drizzle some of the curry butter sauce over the chops and/or around the plates and sprinkle with some of the pistachio dust/crumbles. Enjoy!

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