Juniper Berry-Crusted Rack of Venison with Mostarda

  • Serves

    serves 4


Searing the venison before coating it with spices ensures that the spices retain their potency but don't burn before the venison is cooked. A sweet and sour pear and berry mostarda is the perfect condiment for this lean roast.


For the Mostarda

  • 1 13 cups sugar
  • 12 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. ground mustard
  • 3 tbsp. yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 12 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 14 cup dried cherries
  • 14 cup dried currants
  • 2 firm pears, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 (2"-piece) ginger, peeled and minced
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange grated zest of 1 orange

For the Venison

  • 13 cup juniper berries
  • 13 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tbsp. whole black peppercorns, plus ground to taste
  • 1 tbsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 rack venison (with 8 bones), bones frenched


Step 1

Make the mostarda: Whisk sugar, vinegar, ground mustard, mustard seeds, cinnamon, and 2 cups water in a 4-qt. saucepan. Stir in remaining ingredients; boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until pears are tender and liquid is thickened, about 45 minutes. Let cool.

Step 2

Make the venison: Heat oven to 475°. Combine juniper berries, 1⁄4 cup oil, salt, peppercorns, and caraway and coriander seeds in a food processor; pulse into a wet, gravel-like consistency and set aside. Add remaining oil and the butter to a 12" ovenproof skillet; heat over medium-high. Season venison with salt and pepper; cook, turning as needed, until browned, 8–10 minutes. Coat rack with reserved juniper berry mixture; roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the rack reads 140°, about 30 minutes for medium-rare. Let venison rest 5 minutes before carving; serve with mostarda.

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