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Venison Loin with Pumpkin Purée and Collards


Pumpkin Purée

1 2-pound pumpkin, cleaned, split, seeds removed

Olive oil, as needed

Salt and pepper to taste

Rye Berries

2 cups Anson Mills rye berries (can also use farro or puffed rice)

4 cups chicken stock

Canola oil for frying

2 tablespoons chervil, chopped

Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

6 cups water

1 ham hock

2 bunches collards, cleaned, stems removed, and torn into pieces

1 cup Newsom’s country ham, diced

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Season venison loin with salt and pepper. In a cast iron pan set over medium-high heat, add oil and sear loin on all sides. Reduce heat and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees. Remove loin from heat and allow it to rest for a few minutes before slicing.
  3. For pumpkin purée, sprinkle pumpkin with olive oil and season to taste.Place on a pan and roast in oven for about 1 hour, or until knife-tender.
  4.  Remove pumpkin from oven and allow it to cool. Scoop out flesh and purée. Season to taste. 
  5. Bring rye berries and chicken stock to a low boil in a pot set over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 hours. Drain rye berries and dry on a paper towel.
  6. Fill a cast iron pan with 1 inch oil and heat to 375 degrees. Add rye berries and puff them for about 2 minutes. Strain and drain on a paper towel. Add chervil, season to taste, and reserve.
  7. For collards, bring water and ham hock to a low simmer in a stockpot. Add collards and country ham and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Season to taste.
  8. To serve, divide puree onto 4 plates. Top with collards, venison, and rye berries
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