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Grilled Venison and Apple Chutney: Jack Hennessy’s “Braising the Wild”

Jack Hennessy brings Grilled Venison and Apple Chutney to “Braising the Wild”

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Jack Hennessy’s Grilled Venison and Apple Chutney in “Braising the Wild”
Jack Hennessy

Jack Hennessy is right when he said the recipe this week for “Braising the Wild,” Grilled Venison and Apple Chutney, “sounds fancy.” It does. But he is also right when he said it is “incredibly simple.”

I do love “Braising the Wild” and what it brings to the two pages of expanded outdoors in the Sun-Times’ Sports Saturday.

See for yourself the recipe this week:

GRILLED VENISON AND APPLE CHUTNEY

Are you the type of deer hunter that prefers to have their mouth water the first time a whitetail walks out broadside? If you answered yes, chances are you are looking to clear out the freezer and have grown tired of the same ol’ recipes.

This one, while it sounds fancy, is incredibly simple and definitely a crowd pleaser. I prepared this for the Awaken the Hunter Within documentary, a series of films following three adult-onset hunters in Minnesota. These young adults helped butcher the deer, then I helped teach them how to cook it.

Chiffonade, I have been told, is also a fancy term. What it means: roll your fresh basil leaves together like they’re a cigar and slice perpendicular (like a loaf of bread), so basil comes out in thin circular strings.

For venison steaks here, backstrap or steaks cut from the hind quarters work best. Make sure to trim off any fat or silver skin.

This dish pairs great with grilled asparagus and Yukon potatoes fried in margarine or butter. Always make certain to salt these sides to taste.

Ingredients (make two servings):

Two 8-ounce venison steaks

Grapeseed oil, mixed use

2 tablespoons butter

1 apple, peeled and diced (dime size)

1/2 onion, finely diced

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely minced

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade cut

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

To prepare:

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large pan on flat top over medium heat.

Add diced apple and onion. Cook till fairly soft and slightly brown, then add remaining ingredients. Let simmer for 20 minutes.

Liberally salt and pepper venison steaks and bring them to room temp.

To cook steaks, heat very thin layer of grapeseed oil on medium-high on a cast-iron skillet.

Sear steaks, flipping once the underside has a crispy exterior. Remove once internal temp reaches 130-ish.

Let cuts rest on aluminum-foil-covered plate for 10 minutes before serving with chutney mix.