It’s no secret we all love the hunt, the gear, the prep and the moments of pure, absolute silence leading up to thirty seconds of raw unfiltered adrenaline. We talk about this obsession all the time amongst friends, coworkers and family. Before you cook…What to do. Some eaters find venison from the wild to have a strong “gamey” taste. There are a few secrets to help minimize that taste and flavor profile if you so choose. Typically, that taste comes from the blood that’s in the protein.
There are a few key things to understand about venison before we go too far down this path. Venison is one of the leanest and fat-free proteins we can get our hands on. It’s one of the primary reasons we at Nat Gear love it. Some hunters and chefs have found it necessary to add beef suet or pork lard to add moisture. We’ve found that if cooked and prepped properly, it’s not necessary. Rule number one, don’t overcook it. Because this organic meat is so low in fat it dries out quickly. We’ve found 160 degrees to be perfect internal temp. Rule number two- Don’t over salt it. It draws out the meat juices and prevents browning.
Before you cook…What to do. Some eaters find venison from the wild to have a strong “gamey” taste. There are a few secrets to help minimize that taste and flavor profile if you so choose. Typically, that taste comes from the blood that’s in the protein. We’ve found if we first age the meat under refrigeration three to seven days to enhance the tenderness it makes a big difference. Some Nat Gear family soak the meat in salted water and buttermilk. It helps remove the blood that gives it the “gamey” taste.
Time to cook… What to do. When cooking burgers on the skillet, we typically start with about two pounds of ground venison. We like to hand grind ours at home, but it’s not necessary. We add a shake or two of sea salt, (Remember, too much salt draws out the moisture when cooking, so use caution) garlic powder and generous amounts of cracked black pepper.
We prefer to cook our burgers in our trusty Memaw’s old black skillet. It’s important that we sear the burgers quickly. To do so, we usually get the skillet hotter than you’re used to. Drop a few teaspoons of butter in then drop the patties. It’s normal for smoke and popping. This hot sear is caramelizing the meat and locking in the juices and moisture creating a nice crust. Once a nice caramel brown crust has been created, flip em’ over and do the same on the other side. Check with a meat thermometer and the second they hit 160…pull those babies off and let them rest for 5-7 min.
We’re suckers for a spicy cheddar jack cheese or a nice thick slice of cheddar with some caramelized onions. Once they’ve rested, we like to wrap them up in the little Hawaiian Rolls and serve with a couple of Wickles hot pickle slices.
There you have it friends..burgers to talk about. Continue to enjoy the excitement that comes with our favorite hunts and time with friends…but be sure to include some delicious sliders and venison off the skillet in your discussions. We hope you find these hints helpful.