I love a good burger, the only problem with a good burger is trying to find a better burger. I live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area which claims to be the home of the Juicy Lucy. As a matter of fact several places claim to be the originators of the juicy Lucy. I have eaten most of them and thought they were all good. The only problem is I don't know if any of them were the best burger I have ever had. I have travelled all over the world had an assortment of different types of burgers and burger meats. There was a lamb burger at Busters on 28th that was pretty fantastic and a The Croque burger at Park Burger in Denver that was amazing and a teryaki burger in Japan that would have been really good had I not gotten so drunk and vomited teryaki burger up through my nose. But the one disappointment I have always had is a venison burger.
When ever I think of a venison burger I immediately cringe and think of the countless number of burnt hockey pucks people have tried to pass of as a burger. I have been so scarred by the attempts of others that until recently wouldn't even try to make a venison burger. While out at the Happy Gnome in St Paul I had a wild game burger that was a combination of elk, bison and deer and not wild at all but farm raised, topped with blue cheese and a port sauce that was amazing. I realized that a venison burger could be delicious, you just have to cook it right. All this time I have been writing a blog titled that and forgot to apply it to the simplest of things.
So I set out to make a delicious venison burger made with 100% Minnesota killed whitetail deer. A lot of recipes that I read all required to mix in pork fat of ground pork to give it the fat needed to stay juicy and delicious. I was hoping to keep this burger all venison, so that's what I did.
Jamie's 100% venison burger
1 pound ground venison (preferably neck meat)
2 tablespoons minced roasted garlic
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons dried porcini mushrooms (pulverized into a powder)
2 tablespoons worchestershire
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Black pepper to taste.
Mix all the ingredients together and form patties
I believe that the perfect patty is a 1/3 pound patty, I like the size, it fits the bun and is still thick enough to cook while leaving the middle pink. That is the key to cooking a venison burger leave it medium rare to medium and be very cautious while cooking it. Because the meat is so lean it cooks ridiculously fast and will burn if not monitored closely. I like my burgers on an onion bun with a little cheese and yellow mustard. I do like all the fixin's on a burger but for something like this I just want to enjoy the burger and not cover it up with anything else.
This was a great burger and has me believing again that venison is a perfectly good option for a burger. Served with some kettle chips and some homemade onion dip the only thing missing was a chocolate milk shake. I will remember that next time.