Cocoa & Coffee Crusted Venison w/Toasted Cumin Crèma
Make a dry rub of annatto seeds, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, cocoa, corriander and cinnamon. For best flavor, use whole spices toasted in a dry skillet before grinding. Coat the venison with the spice rub and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Gather the rest of the ingredients: pumpkins seeds, fresh thyme, sesame seeds, cloves, reserved dry rub, tomato puree, achiote paste, deied peppers, jalapeno, dark chocolate, onion and tomatoes.
Split the dried peppers and steep in hot water for a few minutes to soften.
Sautee the onion, jalapeno and rehydrated peppers in a little oil until softened.
Add chopped tomatoes, crushed toasted pumpkin seeds, achiote paste and a spoonful of the dry rub mix. Cook until tomatoes release all their liquid, about 10 minutes.
Add tomato puree, orange juice, fresh thyme and chocolate and simmer for 10 minutes.
Sweeten with enough agave or honey to provide a nice balance with the heat of the peppers.
Sear the venison in olive oil as you would a pan-fried steak. Deer that was properly field dressed, chilled and processed is generally as tender and flavorful as pastured beef.
Thicken the sauce with toasted bread cubes. Place thick-sliced venison over sauce and top with toasted pumpkin seeds and Mexican crema flavored with toasted cumin and S&P. Polenta fried in butter with cilantro makes a nice side.
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