How to cook the perfect venison burger
Why use a cast-iron frying pan for cooking?
As a Hunter I often get to cook whatever wild game that I harvest during the hunting season. With several deer tags each season my meat freezer has it’s share of venison steaks, roasts, loins and lots of venison ground meat. Properley butchered and now frozen and vacuum packed deep in the freezer.
Once deer season has ended with winter snows and cold winds gripping frozen ponds, forests and fields I get out my crockpot, smoker and often fire up the barbecue depending on the cut of meat.
AS winters grip slides by week after week my bounty of wild game dwindles. Naturally the tenderest tastiest choicest cuts go first.
As my dwindling supply of chosen cuts become smaller and smaller and my mound of frozen venison hamburger seem to say “ it’s time to bring out the cast iron fry pan”.
There’s just something about a cast-iron fry pan that brings out all the juices and just enhances any cooked wild game meat especially venison burgers.
Available in all sizes, cast-iron fry pans range from six-inch up the 30 inch (that’s very heavy). I prefer about a ten inch diameter one or eight inch for side dishes and single burgers.
Of course you have to keep your cast-iron fry pans properly cleaned and seasoned to bring out the best in any meal.
Options to clean range a cast iron fry pan range from muscle scrubbing power to a super hot auto oven clean cycle. Just never foregt to keep a drip pan on the bottome of the stove!
Speaking fron experience you might have a smoke alarm sounding off so be prepared!
Once a pan is properly seasoned its ready to place on the stove. I prefer natural gas to electric but both work well.
Preparation is the key to have all your ingredients ready before you start cooking your venison burger.
As any good outdoor chef knows meal preprations and timing is the key to get everything cooked correctly at the same time,
After all who wants the meat overdone while your waiting for the onions to carmalize for another five minutes.
Get every thing ready from bowls, knives, plates, cast iron fry pan and of course the yummy stuff.
My list of ingredients
three quarters of a pound of venison hamburger
plus 1/4 pound of plain hamburger to add some mositure.
some liquid smoke
sprinkling of dried breadcrumbs
2 oz sliced shiitake mushrooms
one sweet onion , sliced thinly
multigrain hamburger buns
Frying up sliced Shitake Mushrooms and caramelizing sweet onions in butter will certainly enhance your venison burger.
Maple bacon is of course another option to add, it crisps up nicely in a cast iron pan.
Two or three strips are enough for each burger. Set aside under a paper towel.
One option I like is to bake a whole garlic bulb at 400 degree F with the pointed top lopped off and drizzled with some Olive oil. Remove any of the paper skin first. Takes about 30 minutes.
Simply squeeze a few cloves into the burger mixture before cooking. YUM.
Time is the key to the onions browning and bringing out their caramelized sweetness.
Low heat gently sautéed thinly sliced onions for perhaps twenty minutes.
Mushroom wont take as long to prepare, don’t over cook them.
As these ingredients are cook prepare the venison.
Mix dry ingredients first with venison and regular burger. Add, salt, pepper, liquid smoke and a few drops of Chipotle sauce to taste. Mix in one egg along with bread crumbs to hold it all together.
Form a paddy with about 1/3 pound of burger maybe an inch thick and four inches in diameter.
Your cast iron fry pan is of course pre heated on medium heat with a tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Lay the burger in gently and cook about 4 minutes before gently flipping it over.
When you get to the three minute mark its time to add a layer of Swiss cheese.
You can of course lay the bacon strips, mushroom and onions under the cheese before melting it or add after the cheese is melted.
Sliced Swiss cheese melted overtop your burger under a glass lid will have everyone drooling.
To toast the hamburger bun I use a 4-slice toaster and lay it on top. You can use the oven or a toaster over for the same results.
Don’t BURN it!
Now for the final build, very simple of course to slide a tender juicy venison burger from your cast iron fry pan onto the now toasted bun.
You can load the top full of your favorite condiments, mustard, relish, tomato’s, hot sauce or lettuce.
Hopefully the maple bacon, Shitake mushrooms, caramelized onions don’t slither off from atop your juicy venison burger.
Enjoy,,,,double YUM with a salad, or side dish of your choice.