Grilled Saddle of Venison & Espresso Dry Rub

With this recipe, grill connoisseurs can serve up a 5-star menu item from the grill.
15 Min
5 Min.
A crispy barbeque dry rub made of espresso, cocoa and tonka beans covers a delicate saddle of venison.
Serves 4

For the Saddles of Venison:

    • 4 saddles of venison
    • 1 ½ cups of pre-cooked chestnuts
    • 4 Tbsp. espresso beans
    • 2 Tbsp. cocoa beans
    • ½ tonka bean
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. black pepper




For the Walnut Salad:

  • 1 head of lettuce
  • ½ cup of peeled walnuts
  • Walnut oil
  • Balsamic cream
  • Honey
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
Step 1

For the barbeque rub, put the espresso beans, cocoa beans, whole peppercorns and rough salt in the mortar. Grind all of it until you have a gritty mass. Otto’s tip: Add half of a tonka bean – this gives your rub an exotic touch of vanilla and bitter almond. Be sure to use the tonka bean sparingly because it’s extremely intensive in taste.

Step 2

Put the meat on a plate and cover it on both sides with the espresso rub. Firmly press the milled spices into the meat. Then, cover it with cling wrap and let it sit for a couple of hours or overnight.

Step 3

Take the meat out of the fridge one hour prior to grill time, cover it and let it reach room temperature. For the salad, separate the leaves, wash them carefully and put them in a bowl.

Step 4

Preheat the Otto Grill for three minutes to 800°C. Subsequently put the venison steak on the grill and set the Meat-O-Meter to stage 3. Sizzle each side at 800°C for one minute. Then, turn off the burners and let the meat rest until it reaches your desired core temperature. Now, take it off the grill to let it rest. When grilling at such a high temperature, the saddle of venison gets an awesome crust on the outside and remains juicy and pink on the inside. The coffee rub creates a dark color and even a crispier texture which makes a great contrast to the tender meat. If the roast aromas are too intense for you, you can easily remove the rub from the steak before eating it. The meat has already soaked the aromas while marinating overnight and removing the rub creates a more subtle taste.

Tip: In addition to fresh tomatoes, use tomato paste for more intense sauce.

Step 5

While the saddle of venison is resting, grill the pre-cooked chestnuts for a good minute until they have a golden-brown color. Prepare a dressing for the salad. We recommend one with walnut oil, balsamic cream and honey. Add a little bit of each ingredient until you achieve your desired taste. Season it with salt and freshly milled black pepper before giving it a good toss. Add a handful of walnuts at the end.

Step 6

Carve the saddle of venison against the grain and serve it together with the walnut salad and the grilled chestnuts. Enjoy!

Did you make this? Tell us how you went!