Justin Johnson’s Coffee Roasted Venison Recipe

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Coffee Roasted Venison Tenderloin, Glazed Yellow and Orange Carrots, Caramelized Cauliflower, Sauteed Black Berries, Pickled Swiss Chard Stalks, Young Romaine Lettuce
(yield 6 servings)

-3 whole venison tenderloins (trimmed of silver skin, each cut across the center to create six pieces)
-2 T ground regular coffee
-1 t. kosher salt
-1 T. Sunflower Oil

Glazed Orange & Yellow Carrots
-2 yellow carrots (sliced diagonally into ¼ inch pieces; slices then cut in half)
-2 orange carrots (sliced diagonally into ¼ inch pieces; slices then cut in half)
-1 ½ T. butter
-2 T. water
– ¼ t. kosher salt
-1 parchment paper lid

Caramelized Cauliflower
-1 head cauliflower (broken up into florets)
-1 T. butter
-1 t. salt

Sauteed Blackberries
-18 black berries
-1 t. butter

Pickled Rainbow Swiss Chard Stalks
-3 pink swiss chard stalks (cut into 1 inch pieces)
-3 yellow swiss chard stalks (cut into 1 inch pieces)
-2 c. water (split in half)
-1 T. sugar (split in half)
-1 T. white distilled vinegar (split in half)

-4 oz. young romaine lettuce leaves

Despite the apparent complexity of this dish, it is actually quite simple and not only fun to make, but fun to eat.

First, glaze carrots: combine the carrot pieces along with the butter, water and salt. Cover with a circular piece of parchment or wax paper that can be cut to fit the opening of the pan you’re using. The reason we use a parchment lid instead of simply using a cover, is so that some of the moisture can escape the pan while some of it remains to fully cook the carrots. as the butter and water reduces, it will form natural glaze. Otherwise, you’re just boiling carrots. Cook on medium heat for about 25 minutes or until the carrots are fully cooked.

Second, pickle chard stalks: In two separate sauce pots, (while carrots are cooking) combine the pink stalks with half of the sugar, water and vinegar and combine the yellow stalks with the remaining sugar, water and vinegar. Heat to a gentle boil for about twenty minutes. Then strain the liquid and allow the stalks to cool. Set aside.

Third, prepare venison: set the oven to 350 degrees. Combine ground coffee in a shallow dish or plate with salt. Roll venison pieces to coat the outside entirely. In a skillet, heat oil on medium high heat. Once hot, place venison loins gently in the pan as to not splash the oil. Space them far enough apart to so that they are able to cook evenly and get a good sear. Roll them through the oil, browning them on all sides. After about three minutes, remove from heat and transfer to the oven to cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes if you prefer medium rare, 10 minutes if you’d like them well done. After removing the tenderloins, allow them to rest for a few minutes to enable the juices to reconstitute themselves before slicing the meat.

Fourth, caramelize cauliflower: Heat butter in a small skillet. Once melted, add the cauliflower florets. Heat on medium high taking care to not burn the butter. Season with salt. Stir the cauliflower gently until lightled browned on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside.

Last, saute blackberries: Heat butter in a small skillet. Once melted, add the blackberries. Heat on medium high, once again, taking care to not burn the butter. Toss the berries gently until just until the juices start to come out (about 45 seconds). Then remove from heat and set aside.

To plate: Arrange carrots, cauliflower, blackberries and chard stalks in a flat layer on your plate, spreading the pieces out to create a balance of color and contrast. Slice the rested venison diagonally and place the two pieces in the center of the plate. Garnish with four leaves of young romaine lettuce. If you are unable to find young romaine, pea shoots or watercress will work as well.

Justin Johnson is the founder and CEO of Sustainable Kitchens

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