Venison is a perfect meat choice in many ways for making burgers. Its strong, rich flavor provides a taste explosion in the mouth and the burgers can be so tender they virtually melt on the tongue. The one drawback of using a meat like venison is the fact that the meat is so incredibly lean. This means that burgers comprised of one hundred percent venison meat are likely to become very dry and unpalatable. The easiest way around this is to add some fattier meat to the venison and these supermarket bought burgers were approximately seventy percent ground venison and thirty percent ground pork. They were also deliciously seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices.
Venison burgers served on toasted roll halves and salsa, topped with fried eggs
Note - Depending upon your geographical location, it may be that you can not easily find venison in any form (least of all Scottish Highland red deer venison as was used in this instance) in any of your local stores. If this is the case, try searching online for a local supplier or even a mail order supplier. Alternatively, you could prepare this recipe by substituting any other type of burger such as beef or pork.
Ingredients (Serves 1)
Principal simple salsa ingredients
- 2 small to medium tomatoes
- 2 inch piece of English (seedless) cucumber
- 1 medium strength green chili
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 venison burgers
- Vegetable or sunflower oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 bread roll or burger bun
Seeds are removed from tomatoes and cucumber
If possible, you should prepare the salsa a couple of hours in advance - or even the night before - and store it in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, until required. This really does help the flavors to infuse and give more satisfactory final results. It is not, however, essential.
Cut the tomatoes in half and the cucumber piece in half along its length. Use a teaspoon to scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds from both before fairly finely dicing.
Combining salsa ingredients
Add the diced tomatoes and cucumber to a small glass or stone bowl. You shouldn't really use a plastic bowl (especially when leaving to marinate for a while) as the garlic in particular can soak in to and permanently flavor the plastic. Peel the garlic clove and finely dice. Top the chili and finely slice. Add the garlic and chili to the bowl along with the extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper and stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required.
If you are in the habit of keeping your eggs in the fridge, remove them at least twenty minutes before they are to be fried. Eggs always cook best from room temperature, especially when they are to be fried or poached. Additionally, it's worth knowing that the fresher an egg is, the better the results will be when it is fried.
Starting to grill venison burgers
The burgers could of course be grilled outdoors but in this instance they were grilled on the stove top in a ridge bottomed, cast iron grill pan. In either case, remember to oil the burgers and not the grill. Bring the grill pan up to a smoking hot heat (this will take three to four minutes) before very carefully laying in the burgers to fry on their first side for about three minutes.
Frying venison burgers on their second side
Cooking tongs should be used to turn the burgers in the grill pan, ideally made of metal or silicon. There is always the risk of plastic melting at these temperatures, however brief its direct exposure to the heat may be.
Put an ovenproof plate in to your oven and turn your oven on to its very lowest setting.
Resting venison burgers
When the burgers are done, lift them to the heated plate and cover with aluminum foil. Sit them aside to rest for just a few minutes while you fry the eggs and arrange to plate up.
Pour a little bit of vegetable or sunflower oil in to a non-stick frying pan and wipe it around with a piece of scrunched up kitchen paper. An oil film is all you want in the pan for best results when frying eggs. Bring the pan up to a medium to high heat.
Break the eggs in to two small bowls or cups. This allows you to pour them carefully in to the pan and also allows you to remove any pieces of shell which may inadvertently drop in before the eggs go in to the pan. Season the eggs with a little salt before carefully pouring in to opposite sides of the pan. After about ten to twenty seconds and when you can see the eggs are holding their shape, reduce the heat to low. If any of the white does spread out a bit, simply push the egg gently back in to shape with the tip of a spatula.
The fried eggs here are served sunny side up. You know they are ready to perfection when you can see the white is set fully all the way around the yolk and no transparent liquid remains. This should take around three minutes, depending upon the size of your eggs.
Toasted roll halves
While the eggs are frying, cut the roll in half and lightly toast on the cut sides under your broiler (kitchen grill). Lay them cut sides up on the serving plate.
Salsa is added to toasted roll halves
Spoon some salsa on to each toasted roll half. You may not need all of it.
Venison burgers laid on salsa beds on rolls
Lift a venison burger on to each salsa roll bed.
Enjoying Scottish venison burgers with fried eggs and salsa
Use a spatula to carefully lift a perfectly fried egg on to the top of each burger and serve immediately.