Chili Cocoa Crusted Venison with Berry Reduction

Chili Cocoa Crusted Venison with Berry Reduction is by far one of my favorite ways to cook the venison tenderloin. The acid from the coffee tenderizes the tenderloin just enough, though with this cut of the deer, not much is needed at all to make it tender. 

Chili Cocoa Crusted Venison Loin
Chili Cocoa Crusted Venison Loin

Valentine’s Day meals do not have to be difficult or fussy.  This recipe is beautiful, elegant, full of flavor and best of all easy to prepare! Chocolate is awesome with venison, believe it or not. Actually, chocolate on almost anything is irresistible. I knew Scott was the man for me when he was able to resist Alaskan chocolate covered berries after losing 20 pounds in two weeks on an Alaskan hunting trip! He did whatever he could to make sure I got my favorite ingredient and treat! Now, I’ve rewarded him with a long marriage full of happiness and cooperation. That right there is the power of chocolate. There is nothing that says Happy Valentine’s Day more than chocolate!


 This venison loin recipe is beautiful, elegant, full of flavor and best of all easy to prepare!
4.8 from 6 votes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people
Calories 103 kcal


  • 1/3 cup coffee grounds
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ venison tenderloin
  • Olive oil for browning

Berry Reduction

  • cups blackberries
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup red wine cabernet-sauvignon
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Kosher salt to taste


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium sized bowl, mix coffee grounds, cocoa, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Rub mixture into loin.
  • Heat cast iron skillet to almost smoking. Place loin into skillet and brown on all sides.
  • Remove to a cutting board. Let rest for at least 5 minutes.
  • Slice into 1-inch pieces on a platter and spoon berry reduction on top of venison. Serve with collard greens. Sprinkle Kosher salt over the sliced loin.

Berry Reduction

  • Place blackberries, blueberries, red wine, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and reduce by half. Season with salt.


You can use the backstrap or loin in this recipe, but if you do, after browning, place loin in 350-degree oven 4 to 5 minutes to continue cooking until loin reaches 120 degrees, depending on size of loin.


Calories: 103kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 2915mgPotassium: 182mgFiber: 4gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 146IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
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  1. Bake in the oven only 4 to 5 minutes? Is that correct?

    1. Hi Lisa! Great question. If it is the tenderloin like I call for in this recipe, I never need to put it in the oven at all. I should clarify and will clarify in the recipe that if you use the backstrap to put it in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes or until medium rare. Thanks for asking. Sounds like you are going to be eating great sometime soon!

  2. 5 stars
    It was absolutely and totally awesome! Have made this several times and it is always delicious. Made it for folks that don’t eat Venison on a regular basis and they came back for more! The coffee flavors the coco and the cayenne adds a little heat. Pour on the reduction sauce which is more of a syrup and the plates are clean!

    1. Now that makes my day!! That is my goal; if you can get people to like something they’ve always been leery of eating, you have done something!

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