Cocoa-crusted Venison with Coffee Sauce

by Cindi SutterFounder of The Spirited Table® - courtesy of Jared AllenGuest Tastemaker from the archives of his - The Quarterback Killer's Cookbook

Four 12-oz venison steaks
2 Tbsp of black peppercorns
2 Tbsp of bitter cocoa powder
2 Tbsp of dried allspice berries
2/3 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
3 Tbsp of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of brewed coffee
1 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of dry red wine


  1. Grind peppercorns, cocoa powder and allspice until fine. Press the cocoa mixture into both sides of the steaks and reserve, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerate, for at least four hours or overnight. 
  2. In a heavy-bottom skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of the butter and 1-1/2 Tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat until the butter starts to foam. Add the steaks, seasoned with salt, cook three to four minutes on each side or until rare. Place steaks on a platter and keep covered loosely with foil.
  3. Drain fat from skillet and add chicken stock, wine and coffee. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and cook the coffee mixture until it is reduced to a glaze. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the remaining butter, one tablespoon at a time, until a nice sheen has formed. 
  4. Spoon some of the sauce over the steak.