One of my biggest problems is using everything in my freezer in a timely manner. Every now and then I go out look in one of the freezers see something and then say to myself, "I will save that for a special occasion", and then I never use it. So from now on I am just going to use everything whenever I want to. Several months ago I had purchased some grade B Foie Gras and was going to use it to make a terrine, but never got around to it. I had some venison scraps and this foie and then it hit me. Why not mix the two? the foie would add some fat and flavor to the venison and would probably make one hell of a burger.
I know this is excessive but every now and again I think excess is a lot of fun. After all if you can't treat yourself to something beautiful from time to time what's the point of all that hard work we do? While I was grinding the meet and the foie I couldn't help but notice how beautiful foie gras is when you put it through a grinder. It even smells delicious and I had to stop myself from eating it raw right of the grinder.
There has been some debate about whether or not foie gras should be legal and that it is cruel to force feed these birds to produce it. I am under the opinion that if it is a natural part of the birds life how can it be bad. Ducks and geese and other migratory birds purposely gorge themselves before their long migrations and build up fat reserves in their livers. On occasion during the fall hunting season some of the ducks and geese that are shot have these enlarged livers. I guess in my opinion foie gras seems a lot more humane than some of the other practices that go on in factory farms. At least ducks and geese are supposed to gorge themselves as a natural part of their life cycle. I can't same the same thing for most of the chickens we see at the grocery store.
Now, back to the burger, this thing was so good it probably should be illegal. It was juicy and delicious and tasted better than any burger I have ever had. I seasoned it with a little french four spice, juniper and brandy and finished the burger with a cherry relish, goat cheese and a honey and port jelly. It was heavenly, as it should be.
Foie Gras Venison Burger
1 lbs ground venison
12 oz grade B foie gras
1 teaspoon french four spice
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
6 juniper berries (ground up in a mortal and pestle)
1 tablespoon +1 tsp of kosher salt
2 tablespoons of brandy
1 grind the venison and foie gras together and then add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. form into patties and then sear them for 3-5 minutes on each side or until they reach your desired doneness. Top with anything you would like or eat it plain, either way you will enjoy it.