Good Eats: Homemade Venison Burgers
Before you know it, the deer season will be back in full swing. We thought we'd get you excited about hunting season with a fool-proof homemade venison burger recipe. Venison is gamey tasting meat. It has a very rich and almost earthy flavor to it. It isn't as juicy as beef for example, but the texture is smoother and firm feeling.
Most individuals love a good burger and a venison burger offers a variety of unique possibilities. Making a tasty burger from venison can be tricky because of how lean the meat is. Deer meat on average has about half the amount of fat as beef does. This means that the meat can dry out more quickly and the flavor can come out duller than a classic beef burger. By basting the burgers in butter, you can preserve the richness of the meat without sacrificing juiciness.
This recipe is going to revolve around 2lbs of ground venison. Whether it's, beef, venison, bison, pork, or anything in between, the most important part of any burger is the seasoning. How you season your burger can drastically change the flavor in more ways than you think. For this burger's seasoning, we're going to take a dash of Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon of brown mustard, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, and half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Mix everything together but be careful not to over-mix your burger. Overmixing can result in the meat becoming tough.
Now onto the cooking. Take your hamburger mixture and begin forming them into patties. For this recipe, make sure your patties are thicker and not as large as a traditional burger (should look like large sliders). The burger itself will be very rich and will be more filling than a traditional hamburger, so smaller is better in this case.
On medium to medium-high heat, place your patties in a skillet and seal off both sides of the burger; melt 4 Tbs of butter in the same pan and baste your burger for 6-8 minutes. Remove your burgers from the skillet and let them rest. It’s important to let the burgers rest so that the juices trapped inside don’t come pouring out when you take your first bite.
Now to toast your buns. A nice brioche or pretzel bun goes great with any burger, especially this one. Once you've removed your burgers from the skillet, without cleaning it, toast your buns face down in the pan until golden brown. There should still be a remnant of butter in the skillet that will help toast the buns nicely with added flavor. Toasting them this way will keep the juices from turning your buns soggy.
Lastly, place your burgers on your buns and stack it with any cheese and toppings you'd like. We recommend pepper jack or a smoked gouda. This is a less than traditional burger cooking method, but when you're cooking with something as different as venison, why not cook differently as well?
Happy cooking, friends!