Kitchen Bitch

Cooking in the Kitchen with Sass & Class

Man Meals: Juicy Ground Venison Burgers March 10, 2011


All you hunters out there—or those lucky enough to enjoy the perks of being friends with one—this post is for you. I’m guessing you’re sick of dry, boring venison burgers, and I’m here to tell you it’s possible to have a tender, juicy venison burger—really, it is!

My parents are funeral directors, and several of their employees are hunters. (I’m not quite sure of the connection between working at a funeral home and hunting, but there must be one. Dead stuff? …  I digress.) One year my mom asked one of the guys if she could have all of the processed meat from one of his kills, and we’ve been receiving one very large shipment of venison meat each Christmas ever since, complete with venison steaks, roasts, backstraps, cased sausages, summer sausages, breakfast links, and ground venison. Basically my mom has more meat than she knows what to do with, and half of it sits in the freezer at the funeral home because we have no room for it in our home freezer. Each spring I step in and ask for my share of the treasure trove, and my mom gladly hands over packages after packages of the frozen goodies, which I promptly store in a cooler and drive back to Chicago to share with my friends.

For those who have never had it, venison is a very lean, somewhat gamey meat reminiscent of beef. I’ve discovered the secret to keeping ground venison moist and delicious, without being too gamey. Are you ready for this top-secret ingredient?

It’s … sour cream, or plain yogurt if you so chose. Either way, it’s the ingredient that keeps the meat moist and adds a tangy je ne said quois to your hard-won ground venison. Serve it with potato wedges, broccoli, and an ice-cold brew. We’ve been loving Two Brother’s Cane & Abel, a hoppy red rye that tastes way, way better than it sounds. Give it a shot!

So, now that I have all this venison, what should I do with it? I’d love to hear your ideas and recipes!

Ground Venison Burgers
This recipe is adapted from one by Jerry Honeyager that appeared on Allrecipes.com. It serves 6 to 8, depending on how big you make the patties. Don’t be scared of the lime aioli—it’s delicious, I promise! Click here to download a copy of this recipe.

1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. grated lime peel
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
2 tsp. cumin
2­–3 Tbs. sour cream
2 Tbs. finely chopped jalapeno
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pounds ground venison
Hamburger buns, split
Slices of Colby-Jack or Pepper Jack cheese

Make aioli. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lime juice, mustard and lime peel. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Make patties. In a bowl, combine the onions, yogurt, jalapeno, cumin, salt and pepper, and meat and mix well. Shape the meat mixture into eight patties.

Cook burgers. Cook burgers on an oiled griddle, pan, or grill until the meat is no longer pink, about 6 to 8 minutes, flipping occasionally. Add the cheese during last minute of cooking so it melts on the burger. I like to cover the burgers with a lid while they cook so they cook more evenly and quickly. A lid also helps the cheese melt more quickly. Serve the cheeseburgers on buns slathered with the aioli.

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25 Responses to “Man Meals: Juicy Ground Venison Burgers”

  1. If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers.
    ~Linda Henley

    Awesome looking is an understatement

  2. Lee Syrjanen Says:

    These are fantastic, best venison burgers I’ve had.

  3. How about a good chili con carne with ground venison on its own or mixed with some pork?

    Or how about venison meatloaf? I guess it should work well with the yogurt or sour cream mix?

  4. Beth Says:

    Doug is one lucky man!

  5. […] Man Meals: Juicy Ground Venison Burgers (via Kitchen Bitch) Posted on March 11, 2011 by My Grandparents' Kitchen All you hunters out there—or those lucky enough to enjoy the perks of being friends with one—this post is for you. I’m guessing you’re sick of dry, boring venison burgers, and I’m here to tell you it’s possible to have a tender, juicy venison burger—really, it is! My parents are funeral directors, and several of their employees are hunters. (I’m not quite sure of the connection between working at a funeral home and hunting, but there must be one. … Read More […]

  6. Nothin’ like a good ol’ cheeseburger! Yummmmm

  7. Meg Says:

    Unbelievable! These were absolutely amazing.

  8. YUM! I love burgers, especially trying out new ones! I will have to save this recipe to try when it gets nice out!

  9. […] challenge the wannabe cook in me to experiment with recipes like her mushroom tofu gratin and her ground venison burgers. My boyfriend still says one of his favorite meals I’ve ever made was her broccoli and cheese […]

  10. […] with mini-meatloafs. But the egg and breadcrumbs will keep your burgers juicy. And some binders can add a lot of flavor. Maybe consider chunks of bleu cheese or some cooked bacon crumbles. Can you hear my stomach […]

  11. Daaron Says:

    tried ours with the yougert. Decided not to add any fatty beef or pork to the burgers. Wanted to see how the burgers with the yougert would come out. These burgers were great and the sauce was awsome!

  12. Sharal Bradbury Says:

    Truly looking forward to trying this! I have 3 big hunters in the house so always an abundance of misc. game. I gave up on venison burgers, due to lack of moisture and taste. But I will prepare these and let you know. Tonight is upside down beef meatloaf-awesome.
    Thanks for the recipe-love your site.

  13. Richard Knaus Says:

    Awesome recipe. I did add some sage, nutmeg, chopped parsley and a clove of garlic. Best Venison ever. The aioli rocks.

  14. Tarah Nelson Says:

    Does this take out the gamey taste completely??

    My ground venison has a REALLY strong gamey taste to the point i refuse to eat it.

  15. Linda Says:

    This created the most awesome buck burger I’ve EVER had! I was brought up eating venison which was the meat staple in my home thanks to my dad baggin a deer every year to feed 4 hungry kids. I couldn’t believe the juiciness and incredible flavor. Incredible!

  16. Kimberley Says:

    Great burger recipe & blog! I used Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream) and it worked well to retain moisture; however, if you are making your mixture/patties and letting them sit in the fridge a while, it also works to tenderize it. Yogurt is a traditional meat marinade in many cultures’ cuisine. Great tip! Not many burger-makers are this savvy!

    I am a vegetarian, so I made these for my b/f from his hunting meat. He hates onions, so I left them out. To replace the moisture the onions would have provided, I simply used an extra scoop of yogurt. But then there is the issue of flavour, so…

    Another tip is to make a flavoured butter! Simply mix soft butter with S&P and any herbs or really anything you like (lemon/lime juice, any hot sauce, any herb…). On a piece of plastic wrap, spoon it into a log-shape, roll it up and refrigerate, Slice log into butter discs and form the burger patties around them. Since venison is so lean, it can use the flavour and moisture boost!

    Nom Nom Nom!

  17. Carol Says:

    Guys your recipe sounds great, got our meat from hunters in northeast Scotland and have frozen it and transported it to Cyprus so if I defrost this bad boy it has to be for the best recipe, if I use this amount of chilli can you still taste the real flavour of the game meat. Would appreciate your comments. W are having a bbq on a big Cypriot celebration called. Green monday. Thanks.


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