Cocoa Spaetzle with Rack of Venison


Spice Mix*

  • 4 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp allspice
  • 2 tbsp caraway
  • 1 tbsp clove

Cocoa Spaetzle Dough

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp Spice Mix*
  • 2 tbsp salt (kosher salt preferred)
  • 6-7 tbsp cocoa powder (Valrhonna recommended)
  • 12 eggs
  • 6 cups flour

For the Venison

  • 1 or 2 venison chops per person
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • canola oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • rosemary sprig


Make Spice Mix*

  1. Toast the cinnamon, allspice, caraway seeds and cloves in the oven or a skillet until aromatic
  2. Grind with a spice grinder or mortar & pestle and set aside

Make Spaetzle

  1. Add milk, spice mix, salt & cocoa powder to a blender and blend
  2. Pour mixture in a bowl and whisk in 12 room-temperature eggs
  3. In a separate bowl add sifted flour and make a well in the bottom of the bowl
  4. Whisk dry ingredients into wet mixture for about 5 minutes until you can feel resistance (you can also use a food processor for this part of the process)
  5. Transfer dough to a smaller container, cover for about 20 minutes at room temperature to let the flour completely incorporate with the eggs

Sear Venison

  1. Preheat oven to 500º
  2. Heat an empty oven-safe pan on the stove at medium to high heat
  3. Cut 1 or 2 venison chops per serving, generously salt & pepper both sides
  4. Heat canola oil to a shimmer - shake pan back and forth to coat the pan
  5. Place venison in pan and gently press
  6. Pan sear venison on one side on high heat for a couple of minutes until you get a nice sear on one side (searing both sides will dry out the meat). Don't move the venison - let it be!  Give it a gentle press to help it along
  7. Add 2 tbsp of butter to the pan
  8. Place sprig of rosemary on top of the venison
  9. Put in 500º oven for a few minutes
  10. Remove from oven and from hot skillet, pour juices from sauté pan over venison and let rest briefly in brown butter

Cook & Sauté Spaetzle

  1. After dough has rested, place perforated pan or colander on top of pot of boiling salted water
  2. In small batches, press dough gently through the holes into the pot
  3. Cook for one minute until the Spaetzle floats to the top of the pot
  4. Remove Spaetzle from boiling water, drain and put in ice water; drain again when cool
  5. Add canola oil to hot pan
  6. Pool oil to one side of pan and add Spaetzle to the other side of the pan to avoid getting splattered
  7. Immediately salt the Spaetzle
  8. Add about 1 tbsp of butter if Spaetzle looks dry
  9. Sauté Spaetzle until golden brown
  10. Add ¼ tsp of the remaining Spice Mix and ½ tsp of cocoa to re-introduce flavors

Plate the Dish

  1. Plate the Spaetzle and Venison with your sides of choice