By the end of the summer I get a bit bored of the same old burgers on the grill. Ground beef makes a great burger, especially when mixed with a little pork. Ground turkey (and chicken) makes a great burger too, but these can get dry quickly (my trick is to add blueberries for pops of moisture). I’ve had my share of lamb this summer too, though I tend to prefer using this for meatballs.
Growing up in hunting family exposed me to interesting wild, grass fed meats. Looking back it’s something I took for granted now that I don’t have easy access to these anymore. When when I came across venison at the butchers last week I was thrilled.
Venison meat is from deer. It’s leaner than beef and contains less saturated fat which means it can become dry easily. One recommendation is to add in a bit of ground pork to help this. In the recipe below I used straight venison and was careful in not overcooking them (overcooking is the death of any burger!)
Wild meat can carry a ‘gamey’ taste that not everyone is familiar with. Worcestershire sauce offers a savory and acidic note that helps to counter that gaminess.
I like to give you options, so adding an egg can help the burgers stay together and a few cracker crumbs can help add a bit of moisture because they hold onto moisture- I skipped both of these and went with just the venison without a problem. Both options are easy to add in and won’t affect the flavor. I cooked mine on the stovetop without it falling apart; the egg may help the burgers hold better shape if you plan to cook on the grill.
Top the venison burger with all your typical toppings or over a summer salad like it I did with a mixture of avocado, corn, olives and arugula. It’s a fun way to shake up the burger boredom.
1 lb ground venison meat (option to add in 3-4 ounces of ground pork)
1 tbls Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp pink salt
Use your hands to mix together the venison, Worcestershire sauce and all the spices. Form the meat into 4 patties. Make a dent on the top of each patty (this helps to counter the burger puffing that happens during cooking.)
Preheat a cast-iron (or other) skillet over medium heat. Melt a pat of butter in the pan then add the burgers (dent side up). Cook for 3-4 minutes, flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until preferred doneness is reached (ideal internal temperature is about 160 degrees).
Let the burgers rest for a few minutes before enjoying.