Venison Loin Chops Sous Vide

Serve it as rare as you like!
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Venison Loin Chops Sous Vide Yum
I once made these for Steve Rinella and Janis Putelis of the Meateater crew in turkey camp. They seemed to enjoy them. Can be adapted to most any herbivore (deer, elk, moose, pronghorn, beef). It is not safe to serve omnivore or carnivore meat rare, so do not adapt to animals like hog, bear or cougar.
Course Main Dish
Course Main Dish
  1. For large animals like moose or elk, slice nicely trimmed loin into 1/3lb - 1/2 lb chops. For smaller animals like deer, cut them 3" to 4" thick then butterfly them to get a wider steak, about 1.5" - 2" thick.
  2. Season well with kosher salt pressed into all surfaces. Don't skip the sides. Stage open to the air on a cooling rack in the fridge. At least an hour, overnight is better. This is called "dry brining".
  3. Remove from the fridge, pat dry with paper towels. Season with granulated garlic and a generous amount of fresh ground black pepper pressed into the meat.
  4. Place rosemary sprig and thyme on steaks and vacuum seal with external bag type sealer, or in double-zipper resealable freezer storage bags using the water displacement method. Stop the vacuum sealer as soon as it looks like the air is out of the bag, before the motor starts to draw down to a vacuum. You want the steaks to retain their shape and not be smooshed down to a flattened disc. This is difficult to achieve with a chamber sealer.
  5. Never add butter or any other sort of fat or oil to the sous vide bag if cooking meat other than fish. It actually robs flavor, especially from spices, herbs and aromatics, that otherwise would go to the meat.
  6. Prepare sous vide bath to 129°F (54°C). This is nice and rare. You can go higher if you prefer, but... seriously?
  7. When the water is up to temp, drop the bags and cook 1-2 hours. It is not safe to cook raw meat below 130F for longer than 2.5 hours using the sous vide method.
  8. Put your serving plates in a low oven to warm.
  9. Remove bags from bath and steaks from bags, reserving any the fluid to cook with some butter and aromatics for a quick pan sauce. Stage the steaks in a warmer or a very low oven while you do that. You are trying to hold them as close to 129°F as you can.
  10. Once you remove the bags from the bath, plate, keep things moving with no delays between steps. Try to time things so this happens close to when you plan to serve. 129°F is not very hot, and the steaks must be served before they cool.
  11. Put the steaks on a grill or other surface that can take the heat, and brown the chops with something like a propane weed burner (OUTSIDE ONLY! FIRE EXTINGUISHER HANDY!), a Su-Vgun or a Searzall. Yes, there are other ways to apply the char, but they are slower and wind up cooking the steaks beyond rare.
  12. Tent it in foil if necessary. Serve as quickly as possible on the warmed plates, drizzling a bit of that heated pan sauce over them. If you didn't make sauce, a little melted butter on top is nice.
Recipe Notes

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