Frank Davis’s Deep South Holiday Venison Rib Chops


Frank Davis was an authority on South Louisiana's fishing scene.

Frank Davis was an authority on South Louisiana’s fishing scene.

This week, we are saddened for the loss of Louisiana culinary great, Frank Davis. This is his recipe for Holiday Venison Rib Chops, courtesy of Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine.

  • 8 to 10 venison rib chops
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons Frank Davis Wild Game seasoning or your favorite Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 1 heaping cup diced yellow onions
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 small bay leaves
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup hearty burgundy wine
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup hickory-flavored
  • barbecue sauce mixed
  • with 1 quart water
  • 1 cup chicken stock (if needed)
  • 6 cups cooked brown rice

Trim off all visible fat from the venison chops. Place them into a glass or plastic container, and cover them with the milk. Soak the chops, tightly covered, for a minimum of 3 hours. For best results, leave them to soak overnight in the refrigerator.

Remove the chops from the milk and discard the milk. Pat them dry with a paper towel, and sprinkle them thoroughly with the wild game seasoning.

Set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy Dutch oven, preferably cast iron, set over high heat. When the oil smokes, add the diced onions. Cook, stirring constantly, until they turn a rich brown color, 5 to 8 minutes. Just before the onions are finished cooking, add the garlic. Take care not to burn.

Now you’re ready to begin “pot-frying” the chops.

With the heat still on high, add the chops to the pot and stir them around in the onion-flavored mixture until they begin to brown, 5 to 8 minutes.

As soon as the chops start to brown, mix together the bay leaves, the water, the wine, and the Worcestershire sauce—and a little at a time begin adding it to the venison chops.

Do not add too much liquid. Add only enough liquid to create a steaming effect. The goal is to “fry” the chops.

Very slowly add the barbecue sauce/water mixture to the pot. The liquid should be added several ounces at a time while stirring constantly until all the liquid is used.

The entire cooking process requires actively stirring for roughly 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

The correct procedure for getting the flavor to intensify is to add a little liquid, stir and cook it for about a minute. Then cover the pot and cook everything again for another minute or two. Keep repeating this process until all the liquids (the water/wine and the water/barbecue sauce) are used.

The venison is ready when it is beginning to fall off the bone. If desired, additional gravy can be made by removing the chops from the pan and slowly adding chicken stock to the pan liquid.

Serve the chops and gravy with brown rice.

Chef’s Notes: A cold, crisp salad, and a crusty piece of New Orleans original French bread are the only other things you’ll need to round out this meal.

“Pot-frying” is an old-fashioned Cajun cooking technique that uses a small amount of flavored oil or other liquid, added a little at a time, to fry down meat, poultry, or vegetables. It produces rich, intense flavor.


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