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Rack of Venison with Smashed Potatoes & Garlic Spinach | Recipeish | Gustus Vitae

Yield: Serves 4.
Time Estimate: 3 Hours, including 2 hours unattended.
Storage Notes: Best if enjoyed immediately, can be kept covered & refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Difficulty: Easy.

It's not everyday you have a rack of venison, so when the opportunity presents itself: do it proper. For this recipe, we leverage the tech of sous vide to ensure perfect, juicy doneness, searing off in a ripping hot cast iron pan for a crispy blackened crust that leads into the tender, buttery venison. Served up with crispy smashed potatoes and tempered with just-wilted garlicky spinach, this is a meal for the books.


      • Preheat a sous vide bath to 130F, and bring a pot of water to a roiling boil.
      • Trim venison rack of any silverskin, and French ribs, if not done already.
      • Rub generously all over with New Zealand Lamb & Game Rub.
      • Vacuum seal rack with a stick of unsalted butter, and drop in the bath for 2 hours.
      • Boil baby potatoes for about 40 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork, then strain and reserve.
      • Preheat oven to 400F.
      • In a small foil lined baking tray, toss together cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and California Sea Salt, and roast for 20 minutes, until tomatoes are well browned but not burned. Reserve.
      • In a large bowl, add baby potatoes (with skin on), pork fat, and French Onion Seasoning. Roughly smash together with a potato masher, incorporating the French Onion Seasoning but leaving large chunks of potato unbroken.
      • Using a ring mold, form 4 compact cylinders of potatoes, and pop in the oven for 30 minutes.
      • Rinse and pat dry spinach, and finely mince garlic.
      • Remove rack from bath, pouring liquor into a small sauce-pot on low heat.
      • Whisk in creme fraiche and Ultra Tex, and bring to boil, before reducing to the lowest heat setting. The sauce should be fairly thick and coat the back of a spoon - adjust with more California Sea Salt as desired.
      • Bring a large cast iron pan and a wok up to high heat.
      • Pat dry venison, and add duck fat to each pan.
      • Begin browning garlic in the wok with Green Goddess Seasoning, and sear one side of the venison for about 2 minutes.
      • Add spinach to wok, tossing to incorporate fat and garlic, and cover with a large plate to steam.
      • Flip rack, and add remaining 1/3 stick of butter, basting and cooking for another 2-3 minutes, and tossing spinach until just wilted but not a mush.
      • Remove rack, tent with foil, and rest for 5 minutes.
      • While the rack is resting, plate potatoes and spinach, topping with roasted cherry tomatoes.
      • Give the sauce a final whisk, then spoon onto your plate.
      • Slice venison and plate, drizzling with basil oil if you have some on hand.
      • Admire your handiwork, serve, and devour.