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Grilled Venison Chops with Ancho Chile Sauce

  • 50 m
  • 50 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“This spicy, earthy ancho chile sauce would be delicious served with roasted chicken as well. Make it a meal: Serve alongside Cheese Grits.”


    • Ancho chile sauce
    • 4 dried ancho chiles
    • ⅔ cup reduced-sodium beef broth
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
    • 1½ tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
    • 1½ teaspoons canola oil
    • Salt, to taste
    • Venison
    • 6 6-ounce venison chops, trimmed
    • 1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
    • ½ teaspoon canola oil
    • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • 1 To make sauce: Tear chiles into long strips. Discard stems and seeds. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Toast chiles, pressing down with a wide spatula and turning once or twice, until they give off a roasted aroma, about 2 minutes. Transfer the chiles to a bowl. Add boiling water to cover. Let sit until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain.
  • 2 Combine the softened chiles, broth, garlic, tomato paste, sugar and oregano in a blender. Blend until very smooth. (If the mixture is too thick, add just enough water to give the sauce a smooth consistency.)
  • 3 Heat oil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Add chile puree and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce has darkened and thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through a fine sieve. Adjust seasonings with salt and more sugar, if desired.
  • 4 To grill venison: Preheat a grill or heat a cast-iron grill pan or skillet over high heat. Rub venison chops on both sides with garlic and brush lightly with oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • 5 Grill or sear the chops until browned on the outside but still pink in the center, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the sauce (Steps 1-3) up to 1 week ahead. Bring to a simmer before serving.
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