Friday, October 21, 2011

Deer Season And We Are So Excited!

Notice the darker red color of ground venison.

My husband loves to hunt and has many friends who, fellow hunter themselves, bless us with deer meat in various cuts. Because I didn't grow up eating it, I had to learn to prepare it. It turns out, it's not that different from other meat when it comes to cooking it. Yesterday we were blessed with four pounds of ground deer meat, so I thawed two pounds and we made deer burgers! It was really delicious and we felt good about eating healthy. If you aren't familiar with it, venison, or deer meat, is very lean and therefore a healthier choice than beef. I'm looking forward to Hubby bagging a deer this year and then we'll get to really explore the different cuts.
Anyway, it was chilly last night, so rather than making Rich fire up the grill, I made the burgers in a skillet. The key to burgers of any kind is not to overwork the meat when forming the burgers, and also never to smash the burgers while cooking. I know, its tempting. We are almost hard-wired into thinking that flat burgers are the way to go, since so many of us were probably raised eating a lot of fast food. However, making fat, juicy burgers is far more satisfying and they are more tender. Here's my recipe:

Served on homemade buns with bbq sauce and mayo, topped with cheese and grilled onions. Yummy!

Deer Burgers

2 lb Ground Venison
1/2 Medium Onion, chopped
2-3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tsp Dried Oregano
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Pepper
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Gently work the meat and seasonings with your hands until well blended. Form your burgers gently, just molding the patties into shape, instead of rolling into balls and flattening. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. You may lower just a touch, if the burgers seem to be cooking to fast on the outside. I like to turn my patties frequently, to get even heating throughout as well as good color on the outside. In between turns, I keep a lid on to trap the heat in. You know they're finished when you can pierce the burger with a fork and the juice is clear, not bloody. Don't over cook, though. Garnish with cheese and your favorite veggies. I served mine on home made buns using the Amish White Bread recipe. I adjusted the baking time, though, since it was buns not whole loaves.

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