I grew up eating Venison. A lot of people feel like of weird about eating it, but it really is a great alternative to beef. If handled correctly and used fresh, it doesn't taste the slightest bit gamey, and you can do pretty much anything with it. Like throw it into chili, fajitas, steaks, etc. I was lucky enough to borrow an awesome cast iron meat grinder from some friends and really wanted to try my hand at making some burgers. Venison burgers are kind of tricky to make. Venison itself is a super lean meat, and the burgers tend to cook very fast. It is a delicate balance between dry, crumbly, and gross burgers and burgers that are charred on the outside but raw on the inside. I decided to add some lightly cooked bacon into the mix as well as cook the burgers in the leftover bacon grease. Yes, the grill would have been a better choice, but its cold outside and I am lazy. So there. The end product was awesome! Perfectly cooked, moist and juicy, with an awesome flavor! I decided to be super mean and send a photo to my Dad and Brother. They were both very jealous.
Bacon Cheese Venison Burger (by the Gingered Whisk)
1 pound freshly ground venison
6 slices bacon, cut in half lengthwise (to give you 12 pieces)
1 small yellow onion, chopped super fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP dried porchini mushrooms, ground to a powder
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
black pepper to taste
6 hamburger buns
6 slices cheddar cheese
In a large heavy skillet, cook the bacon until just barely crispy. Set aside, but keep grease in skillet.
Chop half of the bacon.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the venison, chopped bacon, garlic, onion, egg, dried mushrooms, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, salt, sage, thyme, and pepper until well mixed.
Form into 6 patties about 1/3 pound each. Try to make them medium thickness - too thick and they will take too long to cook (leaving the outside charred) and too thin and they will cook too fast, drying out.
Cook the patties, a few at a time, in the bacon grease over medium-high heat. Try to minimize flipping. Let them sit and cook for about 5 minutes, until it looks like they are cooked about halfway (you will be able to see the color changing up the sides of the patties).
Flip the patties over, add a slice of cheddar cheese to the top, cover the pan, and allow to cook for a few more minutes (about 5 again).
Remove the patties from the pan and place on a plate. Tent the plate with foil while you cook the remaining patties.
Place each patty on a bun, top with 2 slices of bacon and any additional ingredients you want, and Enjoy!