Game dealers are helping to drive the switch to lead-free ammunition and a copper bullet supplied the fallow for Cai ap Bryn's simple dish, created for Shooting Times. Serves three.
The venison chops I used for this recipe were from a memorable stalk on a fallow buck nearing the end of the season. The bucks around here are of good quality with excellent antler growth and are very healthy overall. But there are simply too many of them.
I now opt for lead-free ammunition and was using the Barnes TSX, which is a great copper bullet that I’ve found to be accurate and dependable. It won’t be long before we all must make the decision to shoot with copper if our quarry is to be sold on to the game dealer. Not only that, but we do have a moral obligation to treat the deer and carcasses in the best way possible. When it comes to protecting our sport and its future, we really ought to start now.
The buck I used for this recipe was taken while grazing on the edge of a small woodland. He was about four years old and in good condition. After a suspended gralloching on site, the buck was hung in the chiller for 10 days before being butchered into lots of delicious cuts, including mince, steaks, roasting joints and chops.
Venison chops with blueberry sauce
This particular recipe is straightforward and doesn’t require too many ingredients.
- 3 fallow double chops (Barnsley chops) at room temperature
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 tsp garlic granules
- 50g salted butter
For the sauce
- 125g blueberries
- ½ shallot, finely diced
- 25g salted butter
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Splash of water
- Pinch of salt
- First, make the sauce. Place the blueberries and finely diced shallot in a pan with the butter. Cook on a medium heat until the shallot is soft and the blueberries start to break down. Add the sugar and keep stirring. Shortly after, add the vinegar and a dash of water. The sauce should thicken slightly. If it is too thick, add another splash of water. Remove from the heat and add a pinch of salt to taste.
- Lightly score the chops in a diagonal pattern. Spread a little olive oil over the chops to allow the rub to stick. The scoring is designed to create more areas for the rub to get into the meat, so it will crisp up nicely with the high heat.
- Mix the salt, pepper and garlic, and sprinkle evenly over the chops. Pat it, so it sticks to the meat.
- Cook the chops on a hot grill for four minutes each side. Take care to not overcook. I advise using a temperature probe to achieve medium-rare consistency with an internal temperature of around 57°C. 5 Once cooked, remove from the grill and allow to rest for five minutes, helping it to become tender and reabsorb all the delicious juices.
- Serve with the blueberry sauce. This is excellent served with homemade garlic potato wedges, fresh salad and a glass of good Malbec.