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Pastrami Spice Encrusted Venison With Huckleberry Ketchup

  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons white peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons allspice berries
  • 6-8 dried red chilies
  • 2 inch piece of dried gingerroot
  • 2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 6 dried bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 cup juniper berries
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 4-pound venison loin, trimmed of excess fat and silver skin
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 12 Roma plum tomatoes, seeded and quartered
  • 3 pounds huckleberries, or blueberries, strawberries, blackberries or any combination
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice and zest of 2 oranges
  • 8 juniper berries
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup gin (optional)


  • In a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle, grind the spices and sugar into a paste, working in batches as necessary. Combine the ground spices in a small bowl.
  • On a sheet of plastic wrap place the venison loin and lightly dust on all sides with the Pastrami spices, then wrap tightly. Refrigerate the wrapped loin for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  • In a large sauté or roasting pan heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Add the venison to the pan and sear quickly on all sides, being careful not to burn the spices. Place the seared venison in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into its center reads 142ºF. Remove the loin from the oven, and let rest covered for 15 minutes before carving and serving with the Huckleberry Ketchup.
  • HUCKLEBERRY KETCHUP: In a large saucepan heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to caramelize, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until they start to release some of their moisture, about 5 minutes. Add the huckleberries to the pot, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the gin, and stew over medium heat until the mixture is thick and has reduced in volume by nearly three-quarters, about 15 - 20 minutes. Stir in the gin and cook an additional 3 minutes.
  • Strain the ketchup into a small bowl and allow to cool before serving.
  • Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

Recipe Details