Spiced Venison Rib Chops with Coconut Sauce

This venison rack is coated with a Sri Lanca-inspired spice rub, then roasted to rare/medium rare before being sliced into rib chops.  A rich, creamy coconut milk sauce keeps the spices from getting too overpowering.

Colatura is an Italian fish sauce that has a more delicate flavor than Southeast Asian varieties.  Here it’s used to sneak a little more umami into the coconut sauce.

Drink Pairing: Napa Valley Merlot Wine

Servings: 4-8


Venison Rack:
1 8-Bone Venison Rack
¼ C of Coriander
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 t Whole Fennel Seed
1 t Whole Cardamom
½ t Fenugreek Seeds
2 T Whole Cumin
1 t Mustard Seed
1 Dried Aji Amarillo Chile
½ C Curry Leaves
1 t White Rice
¼ t Whole Cloves
1 T Salt
High Heat Oil for Searing (Canola, Grapeseed, Safflower)

Coconut Sauce:
1 can Coconut Milk
1 tsp Colatura Fish Sauce
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
¼ tsp Salt

Fried Curry Leaves (Garnish):
Curry Leaves
1 tbsp Canola Oil


  1. Set your oven to 400 degrees.

  3. Toast all the spices for the rack, and the chile, in an unoiled frying pan until they’re aromatic and lightly browned.

  5. Once the chile is cool enough to touch, tear it apart and shake out, then discard all the seeds.

  7. Grind all the spices together in a clean coffee grinder or spice grinder.

  9. Remove the silver skin from the rack by pushing the point of your knife underneath it, cut to remove one end from the rack, then pull up on the silverskin while cutting underneath it until it comes away.  Repeat with the rest of the silver skin.

  11. Cut the intercostal meat off of the rack (the thin layer of meat above the rib bones, separated from the eye by a layer of fat & silver skin), and trim any more revealed silver skin off.

  13. Rub the cleaned rack with the spice mixture.

  15. Sear the rack on all sides over medium heat in an oven-safe frying pan coated with high heat oil.

  17. Roast the rack to 125 degrees for rare, 130 for medium rare.

  19. Remove the pan from the oven and put the rack on a clean plate to rest.  Loosely cover it with foil and leave it be for at least fifteen minutes.

  21. While the rack is resting, fry the curry leaves – put the tablespoon of canola oil in a pan and get it very hot.  Add the curry leaves to the oil and stir them until they crisp up.  Scoop them out of the oil and put them on a paper towel.  Sprinkle them with salt.

  23. Pour the coconut milk into the pan where you fried the curry leaves.  Bring it to a simmer and add any juices that have collected on the plate where the venison is resting.  Continue to cook until the sauce has reduced in volume by one third.

  25. Add the lemon juice, colatura fish sauce and the salt.

  27. Slice the rack between the bones into individual bone-in venison chops.

  29. Serve the chops with the sauce and curry leaves (plus any sides you want).



Venison Medallions with Roasted Endive

Silver Fern Cervena leg meat is exceptionally tender and flavorful and can be seared, then roasted the same way you would a rack or tenderloin with similarly delicious results.  Here we’ve paired it with bitter roasted endive and fruity, tangy balsamic glazed grapes.
Drink Pairings: Amarone or Valpolicella Wine
Servings: 2-4
1 pound of Venison Denver Leg
3 C Black Grapes
6 Endives
1 T Butter
1 1/2 t Salt
1 C Chicken Stock
1/4C + 1 T Balsamic Vinegar
1 t Chopped Thyme, plus extra for garnish
Safflower, Grapeseed or Canola Oil
Finishing Salt

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

  3. Cut the endives in half and put them in an oven-safe frying pan with the cut side down.

  5. Add the chicken stock, butter, teaspoon of salt and tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the pan.

  7. Cover the pan & put it in the oven for thirty minutes.

  9. Remove the cover and return the pan to the stove, continuing to roast the endives for thirty more minutes, until the liquid has evaporated and they’ve browned.

  11. Season the venison with salt & pepper.  Oil a frying pan and get it very hot.  Sear the venison on each side until it develops a browned crust, then move the pan to the oven to roast until the venison reaches your preferred doneness (125 degrees for rare, 130 for medium rare).

  13. Take the venison out of the pan and put it on a clean plate.  Loosely cover it with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing against the grain.

  15. While the venison is resting, halve the grapes and put them in an oiled frying pan – cut side down.  Cook them over medium heat until caramelized, then add the remaining quarter cup of balsamic and half teaspoon of salt.

  17. Bring the balsamic to a simmer and cook it down to a syrup consistency.  Add the chopped thyme.

  19. Serve the venison with the endives and grapes, sprinkled with a little thyme and finishing salt.



Chard & Chevre Merino Lamb Burger

This burger is packed with flavor, easy to make, and a lighter, fresher-tasting alternative to the common lamb burger.


Ingredients:                   Servings: 4

4 Merino Lamb Burgers (or 32oz Ground Merino)

4oz Chevre

8 Chard Leaves

4 T Prepared Horseradish (we used a beet horseradish)

Garlic Clove

1 t chopped Thyme

1 t Worcestershire Sauce

½ t Red Chile Flake

1 t Fennel, ground

1 t Cumin, ground

4 Buns


1.  Preheat your oven to 350˚F.  Mince the garlic & tear the ribs from the chard leaves.


2.  Mix together the Merino, thyme, Worcestershire, chile flakes, cumin, fennel & garlic.


3.  Make the lamb blend into four patties.


4.  Toast the buns.


5.  Cook the burger patties using your preferred method (grilling tips).


6.  Put an ounce of chevre on the bottom half of each bun.  Bake these portions in the oven until the cheese melts.


7.  Remove the buns from the oven and top the chevre on each bun with a tablespoon of horseradish.


8.  Top the horseradish with a burger patty, then top the patty with a chard leaf and the top bun. Serve.



Garlic & Truffle Grass-fed Beef Round Roast

Got a hankering for classic roast beef?  This recipe will fit the bill.  The natural deliciousness of grass-fed Angus beef is augmented with garlic slivers and black truffle salt, then finished with a red wine pan sauce.



3 1/4lbs Grass-Fed Beef Bottom Round Roast

½ C Red Wine

Black Truffle Salt

2 Dried Bay Leaves

Clove of Garlic

3 T Butter

½ t Brined Capers, drained

1 t Cream

Cooking Oil


1.  Set your oven to 350˚F.


2.  Peel the garlic clove and slice it very thin.  Chop the capers.


3.  Cut slits into the roast (evenly distributed across all sides) and insert the garlic slices.


4.  Rub the roast with the truffle salt.


5.  Put your roasting pan or an oven-safe frying pan on the stove.  Oil it and get it quite hot.  Sear the roast on all sides until browned.


6.  Place one bay leaf under the roast and one bay leaf on top of the roast.


7.  Move the roasting pan or frying pan to the oven and roast to a few degrees below your desired doneness (an internal temperature of 115-120 degrees will give you medium rare after a rest).


8.  When the roast is cooked, remove it from the oven and the pan.  Move it to a clean plate or cutting board, loosely cover it with foil, and let it rest while you prepare the pan sauce.


9.  Remove the bay leaves & the excess fat from the pan.  Pour the in the wine and scrape the pan with a spatula to free any browned bits from the bottom and incorporate them into the sauce.


10.  Simmer the wine until half of it has evaporated.


11.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream, capers and butter.


12.  Thinly slice the roast and serve it, drizzled with the red wine sauce, along with your preferred sides.



Merino Lamb Loin w/ Braised Onions & Lemon Walnut Sauce

Silky, tender merino lamb loin served atop butter & olive oil-braised onions with marinated tomatoes and a creamy lemon-walnut sauce.

Note: You’ll have extra braised onions to serve as a side dish or save for later.


Servings: 2




1 Merino Loin Fillet

1 Clove of Garlic


1 T Coriander Seeds

5 Black Peppercorns



½ C Champagne Vinegar

1 pint Cherry Tomatoes




1 stick Butter


1 Marjoram Sprig

2 Large Onions




1 ½ C English Walnuts

Juice of 1 Lemon

¼ C Vegetable Broth


¼ C Lemon Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper



Minced Chives or Chive Microgreens

Additional walnuts


1 Day Ahead:

1.  Peel & crush the garlic clove.  Pour the ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil, garlic, coriander and peppercorns in a saucepan and heat the oil just to a simmer.  Remove from the heat and let it cool completely.


2.  Trim the fat cap and silverskin from the merino loin fillet.  Put it in a zip top bag and pour the olive oil mixture over it.  Marinate in the fridge overnight.


Day Of:

1.  Halve the cherry tomatoes.  Stir them in a bowl with the champagne vinegar and ½ tsp salt.  Let sit at room temperature for 1-4 hours.


2.  Preheat your oven to 300F.


3.  Slice the onions into ½” thick slices.  Put them in a baking dish with the sprig of marjoram and cover them with the butter (cut into cubes), olive oil and salt to taste.


4.  Cover the dish with foil and roast until the onions soften (approx. 40 minutes).  Then remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 425F.  Continue to roast until the onions turn golden brown.


5.  Cook the Merino loin fillet:



1.  Remove the loin fillet from the marinade & pat it dry.


2.  Sear it on all sides in a hot oiled cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat until it reaches your desired doneness (4-6 minutes per side until medium rare recommended).


3.  Let the merino rest (loosely covered with foil) for 10 minutes, then slice against the grain.


Sous Vide:

1. Preheat your immersion circulator or water oven to 115F.


2. Remove the loin fillet from the marinade & wipe it dry.  Vacuum pack it using a clamshell or Food Saver vacuum machine.




Use a chamber vacuum machine to vacuum pack the merino in a pouch with its marinade.


3.  Cook the merino loin in the water bath for an hour, then remove it from its pouch, pat it dry, and sear it on all sides in a hot oiled frying pan or skillet.


4. Slice the merino against the grain.


1.  While the merino loin is cooking or resting, toast the walnuts.  Pulse them in a food processor until ground, then add the lemon juice, vegetable stock and olive oils to the walnuts while the processor is running (to create an emulsified sauce).  Taste and add salt & pepper as necessary.


2.  Spoon some of the walnut sauce onto each plate.  Top the sauce with a roasted onion slice, then top the onion with the merino.  Put some of the marinated tomatoes on top of the merino, then garnish the plate with toasted walnuts & chives.  Serve.



Merino Loin w/ Sweet Potato & Macerated Blueberries

A fine-dining quality dish that showcases merino lamb’s ability to pair with a wide variety of flavors.  Elegant and beautiful, it isn’t nearly as complicated to prepare as it appears.


Servings: 2




1 C Red Wine Vinegar

¼ C Granulated Sugar

1 ½ T Salt

1lb Blueberries



1 Merino Lamb Loin Fillet


1 Shallot

1 C Red Wine

10 Juniper Berries

Sweet Potato:

1 Sweet Potato

12 Fresh Thyme Sprigs

3 Garlic Cloves



½ lb Fresh Mushrooms

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper



½ C Shelled Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seed Oil (could substitute Extra Virgin Olive Oil)



1 Day Ahead:

1.  Mix the vinegar, sugar and salt for the blueberries together until the sugar & salt dissolve.


2.  Add the blueberries, cover, and let them macerate overnight.


3.  Trim the fat cap and silver skin from the Merino loin & chop the shallot.


4.  Heat the olive oil, juniper berries and shallot in a saucepan just until the oil begins to simmer.  Remove from the heat & let cool completely.


5.  Put the loin fillet, extra virgin olive oil, shallot, wine and juniper berries in a zip top bag & marinate overnight.


Day Of:

1.  Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan, stirring or tossing frequently, just until they start to pop.


2.  Preheat your oven to 400F.


3.  Peel the sweet potato and slice it into ¼” rounds.  Crush the garlic cloves.


4.  In a bowl, mix together the sweet potato with the garlic and thyme sprigs with enough olive oil to coat.  Add salt & pepper to taste.


5.  Toss the mushrooms with olive oil, salt & pepper.


6.  Spread the sweet potato slices (with the garlic & herbs) across a baking sheet in a single layer.  Put the mushrooms on a separate baking sheet or in a baking dish.


7.  Roast the sweet potatoes until tender & golden brown (approx. 30 mins) & the mushrooms until they are caramelized, but not completely dried out.


8.  Cook the Merino loin fillet:



1.  Remove the loin fillet from the marinade & pat it dry.


2.  Sear it on all sides in a hot oiled cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat until it reaches your desired doneness (4-6 minutes per side until medium rare recommended).


3.  Let the Merino rest (loosely covered with foil) for 10 minutes, then slice against the grain.


Sous Vide:

1.  Preheat your immersion circulator or water oven to 115F.


2.  Remove the loin fillet from the marinade & wipe it dry.  Vacuum pack it using a clamshell or Food Saver vacuum machine.




Use a chamber vacuum machine to vacuum pack the merino in a pouch with its marinade.


3.  Cook the Merino loin in the water bath for an hour, then remove it from its pouch, pat it dry, and sear it on all sides in a hot oiled frying pan or skillet.


4.  Slice the Merino against the grain.


9.  Put some roasted sweet potato slices on each plate, top them with the sliced merino.  Top the merino with mushrooms, blueberries and pumpkin seeds.  Drizzle the plate with some pumpkin seed oil or extra virgin olive oil.  Serve.



Roasted Merino Leg with Pesto Recipe


Boneless leg of lamb is a classic roasting cut.  Merino leg is similarly delicious, but leaner with a more delicate flavor that will appeal to those who find lamb too rich or gamey.  Here it’s paired with a bright, herby pesto.


Drink Pairing: Cabernet Franc Wine         Servings: One per 6-8oz of Merino



Boneless Merino Leg

1/3 C Almonds

6 T Orange Juice

3 T Walnut Oil or Pumpkin Seed Oil (plus extra for finishing if desired)

3 T Vegetable Oil

1 T Lemon Juice

1 t Marjoram Leaves

1 C Fresh Parsley

Salt & Pepper


Garnishes: Lemon & Fresh Oregano



1. Gently toast the almonds in a dry pan on the stove until they begin to smell nutty and lightly brown.  Slice the lemon into disks.


2. Butterfly the leg meat – cut it down the middle most of the way through (without separating the two halves).  Trim out all the silver skin.


3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.


4. Sear the leg meat over medium-high heat until it browns on the bottom.  Flip the meat and move the pan to the oven.


5. Roast until the meat almost reaches your desired level of doneness (an internal temperature of 110 will result in medium rare after the rest).


Remove it from the oven and let it rest (loosely covered with foil) for fifteen minutes before slicing it.


5. While the leg is roasting, blend together the almonds, herbs, juices and oils with a half teaspoon of salt and a few tablespoons of water.


6. Sauce each plate with the pesto.  Top the pesto with the sliced Merino.


7. Optional: drizzle the meat with additional walnut or pumpkin oil.


8. Serve sprinkled with oregano leaves and with the lemon disks on the side.



Red Wine Braised Merino Spare Ribs

Red wine, aromatic vegetables, and a blend of spices come together in this braise to turn Merino spare ribs into a rich, delectable appetizer or entrée.


Wine Pairing: Left Bank Bordeaux           Servings: 2-4



4 Merino Spare Rib Racks

1 Small Carrot

1 Celery Stalk

1 Small Onion

½ C Red Wine

3 C Chicken Stock

2 Bay Leaves

½ t Smoked Paprika

1 t Tomato Paste

1 t Brown Sugar

¼ t Ground Cinnamon

1 T Canola Oil

1.  Dice the celery, onion and carrot.


2.  Dry off the ribs & season them with salt & pepper.


3.  Put the canola oil in a large, deep frying pan or skillet.  Get it hot over high heat.


4.  Add the ribs to the pan, meat-side down.  Sear them until they develop a golden brown crust.


5.  Move the ribs to a clean plate.  Put the vegetables, spices, sugar and tomato paste in the pan.
6.  Saute the vegetable mixture for five minutes, then return the ribs to the pan.


7.  Add the red wine and chicken stock, bring the liquid to a simmer, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low.


8.  Braise the ribs until they’re tender – about 4 hours.


9.  Remove the ribs from the braising liquid.  Strain the liquid (discarding the solids), and return it to the pan.


10.  Simmer the braising liquid until it reduces to a sauce consistency, skimming off any fat that rises to the surface.


11.  Serve the ribs with the braising liquid sauce and your choice of sides.



Grass-Fed Standing Rib Roast

A standing rib roast is an awe-inspiring sight at any banquet – rich, perfectly roasted beef ribeye with a line of brilliant white bones.  A standing rib roast is the perfect choice for large family feasts as a center-of-table protein.


Ingredients:                                       Servings: 10-12

1 Grass-Fed Bone-In Ribeye Roll

2 Celery Stalks

2 Onions

2 Carrots

Salt & Pepper


Optional Pan Sauce:

1 C Red Wine

1 C Butter



1.  Set your oven to 400 degrees.


2.  Clean/peel the vegetables and use them to create a “bed” in the bottom of your roasting pan.  They will flavor the jus that collects in the pan while helping keep the roast above collecting juices so it roasts more evenly.


3.  Remove the lip meat that sits above the bones so they are exposed on both sides.


4.  Cut the rib meat from between the bones & scrape them clean, so you have a line of rib bones protruding from the main body (the eye) of the roast.


5.  Cut off any silver skin, membranes, or heavy fat deposits on the exterior of the roast.


6.  Tie a tight loop of butcher’s twine around the roast in between each rib.  This will make for a more uniform shape.


7.  Season the roast with salt & pepper.


8.  Rest the roast on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.


9.  Move the pan to the oven and roast to your desired level of doneness.


10.  Remove the roasting pan from the oven, and put the roast on a clean platter or cutting board to rest (loosely covered with foil) for thirty minutes.


11.  Optional: While the roast is resting, remove the vegetables from the pan and discard them.  Pour the red wine into the hot pan and scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to get all the browned bits off the bottom.


Pour the wine mixture into a small pot and add the butter.  Heat, stirring, until an emulsified (smooth) sauce forms.


12.  Serve the roast with your choice of sides and (if desired) with the pan sauce.



Merino Leg Roast

Here’s an updated version of a classic – roast leg of lamb without the usual gaminess (thanks to Merino’s more refined flavor profile) and a allspice, pepper, ginger & fennel crust.  Simple, but delectable.


Ingredients:                                       Servings: 8

Bone-In Merino Leg

1 t Ground Ginger

10 pieces Whole Allspice

1 T Fennel Pollen

20 Peppercorns

1 C Red Wine

1 C + ½ Stick Butter (unsalted)



1.  Set your oven to 400 degrees & let it preheat.


2.  Trim off silverskin and any large deposits of surface fat from the Merino leg.


3.  If desired, French the bone at the narrow end of the leg for a more elegant/classic presentation.


4.  Grind the allspice and peppercorns.  Stir in the fennel pollen and ginger.  Soften the half stick of butter and mix in the spices.


5.  Spread the butter on the thicker side of the leg.  Place the leg in a roasting pan.  If you Frenched the bone, wrap the exposed portion in aluminum foil to keep it from darkening in the oven.


6.  Roast the leg to an internal temperature of 110 degrees.


7.  Remove the leg from the roasting pan & loosely cover it with aluminum foil.  Let the leg rest for thirty minutes before serving and/or slicing.


8.  Drain the fat from the roasting pan.  Heat the pan on the stove top, then pour in the red wine.  Scrape the fond (browned bits) from the bottom of the pan into the wine.  Pour the wine into a sauce pan and whisk in the cup of butter, heating the pan as necessary, until a smooth sauce forms.


9.  Serve the sauce with the roast Merino.