Venison Chops with Dried Fruit

Usually I use venison like beef. But I was given these chops by my daughter’s beau. The butcher we use never cuts us chops like this, think lamb chops. So I hunted up a recipe, because let’s face it, these were special.

This is adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for venison chops on foodnetwork.com.

The end result was indeed special. I bet if I had Emeril’s ingredients it would have tipped the scales.

1/4 cup mixed dried cranberries & cherries
1/2 cup dry red wine (I used the end of a bottle of Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2011, I love this wine)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
6 venison chops, maybe 2 oz. apiece
2 Tbsp. finely minced onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tsp. dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup water

Soak the cranberries and cherries in the wine for 10 minutes.

In a large heavy skillet (cast iron), heat the oil over high heat. Be careful not to let the oil smoke. Add the chops and sear, 2-3 minutes per side. The chops should easily be pulled from the pan when they are properly browned.

Remove to a plate. Add the onions & garlic and cook for a minute. Drain the wine from the fruit and carefully add it to the pan, stir. Add the fruit, soup mix, water and chops. Stir & flip the chops, cook for 2 minutes, just to heat through. The chops should be rare.

Serve over soft polenta made with muenster cheese stirred in at the end.

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