This is the way that we make burgers here on the homestead. Ground venison burgers from scratch are a regular at our home. The meat is so healthy and available for us because we hunt every fall. There are so many great ways to use venison meat (I pretty much use it just as I use beef and can replace any beef recipe with venison) but these venison burgers might just be our favorite way of using deer meat.
It must be what it feels like to die and go to heaven. Sinking your teeth into a homemade, from scratch venison burger that is. I am sure of that!
I love venison, if you follow this blog you probably already know that. If I can, I try to only use venison and not beef from the store. One day I’ll raise my own cows and they will be happy cows that sunbath all day and consume a massive amount of fresh, green grass, but even then, I can assure you that if I’ll still be able to put my hands on venison I’ll keep using it.
It’s simply amazing meat that is so very healthy for us. I love that it comes right from nature, I love that these deer had the freedom to roam around and I love that they could decide for themselves what they’d like to eat.
The health benefits of eating this kind of meat are very noticeable. You don’t need anyone to research this stuff and show up with statistics, you can feel it in your body. Problems like gas or unbalanced hormones in many cases just go away completely. I personally don’t feel that “heavy” feeling after eating venison which directly results in feeling like my energy level is where it should be.
I use venison instead of beef. Many recipes that call for beef can be done with venison, but sometimes since there is not much fat on a deer and the animal actually moved when it was alive the meat can be a bit tough. This is not a big deal, in many cases before I use deer meat I’ll pressure cook it to make sure that it’s soft enough.
With burgers, I don’t have to go through the pressure cooking process. We ground our meat here at home and when you cook it as a hamburger or meatballs its texture is just the same as the texture of meat from the store.
Ground Venison Burgers From Scratch…
I’ll show you how we make our burger, but burger is a flexible thing, you know. You can use this as your base recipe but create your burger any way you want.
I got this beautiful deer ham from my neighbor the other day. In past years my husband used to go hunting and we’d have three or four deer in the freezer by the end of the season which would be enough meat for the rest of the year. We’ve separated, so for now, my neighbors take care of us as much as they can.
In this small country community, we barter a lot. They may use my tractor attachments and then bring me meat a few days later. Someone can weld something for me one day and I’ll drop a basket of vegetables on their front porch a few days later.
I love it! It makes farming and homesteading so much more fun and easier too.
On my list of things to learn (which is as long as HWY 95…) is learning how to hunt. Hopefully in the near future, I’ll figure it out but for now, I am welcoming any meat I get from my neighbors.
I took all the meat off the bone. I canned some of it (you can read about that process in How to Can Meat) and used the bone to make bone broth (you can read about that process in Making Bone Broth) and left about 2.5 pounds for burgers.
Deer meat has virtually no fat in it. And when you butcher the animal (read: How to Butcher Deer on the Homestead) you want to remove any fat you come across because it doesn’t taste good at all.
But when I ground the meat I like adding some fat. It gives it a better texture and it tastes really good. So here I added a little bit of beef fat. I get it at a local butcher shop for $0.99 a lb. You can add as much as you want. I usually add about 10% fat.
Now that I have the cubed meat (one-inch cubes) and the fat, the next step is to ground all this together.
The kids love doing it, but honestly, it’s hard and not fun at all! I am not sure if I’m using this thing hand operated grinder the wrong way… Maybe it would be easier if my meat is a little frozen (I’ve heard that it helps) but honestly, I think that my next investment would be a meat grinder attachment for my Bosch Universal Mixer.
We love hamburgers and meatballs and in the future I also want to learn how to make sausage so I think it’s time to upgrade to an electric grinder that will save me a whole lot of valuable time.
Ok, let’s stop whining and start working, yes?
I alternate between the meat cubes and the fat cubes. When they come out everything is pretty much mixed together but most of the time I run it through the grinder one more time.
Then I give it one more good mix with my hand.
I add some salt and black pepper and mix it in.
Next, I scoop some meat and shape it into a hamburger patty. Remember that the meat is going to shrink a bit when we cook it so make your patties a bit larger than your bun.
Now the secret ingredient! This steak seasoning that I got from Costco a million years ago (I no longer have a membership there but it’s on Amazon too. Here is a link).
I do not eat a steak or a hamburger without this thing! It’s such a good blend of seasoning, I would live in the container if I could.
Ok, so a little bit (I am trying really hard to control myself in this step!) on each side of each hamburger…
And I set them on a piece of a plastic wrap on the counter.
Now let’s cook these babies! I add a couple of tablespoons of oil to a pan… I use a cast iron pan here but you can use any pan or, even better, not use a pan and grill the burgers instead.
I don’t eat dairy and meat together so I use olive oil or sunflower oil, but you can use butter as well.
I wait until the pan is really hot, then I add the burgers and lower the heat a bit.
I like my burgers well done so I cover the pan to make sure they cook all the way. It also helps with the smoke a little bit.
After 4 or 5 minutes, I flip them, cover the pan and let them cook a couple more minutes.
You gotta cook them as you like. If you like them raw then you might not want to cover the pan and you might want to cook them less. But always start with a very hot pan so they get this nice brown color.
Once they are done on the other side, I take them out and set on a plate.
I make hamburger buns at home (using this recipe), because the buns at the store taste like cardboard and the meat is so tasty that it deserves better! And I deserve better too.
Make sure you have all of the other stuff ready. I keep it super simple…
I spread mustard on one side of the bun…
Mayo on the other side of the bun…
And then the hamburger, lettuce (this one is fresh from the fall garden!), and tomato.
You can add cheese, pickles, bacon, mushrooms, onions… Whatever you like.
It’s just so so good, I mean, look at it!
I wish I could give you a bit! The bun is so soft and the meat is so tasty. That steak seasoning really takes it to a different level in my opinion.
Once I have a normal meat grinder this process would be easier but even now it’s so worth the effort! The hunting, the butchering, the processing, and the cooking… Each step adds more flavor to that final result.
These are a regular at our house and will probably stay for a long time. The kids love to help make them and they love building their own burgers and it’s a meal you don’t have to convince them to eat! Or me…
- 2.5 ground venison meat
- 4-5 oz beef fat, ground with the meat
- Salt and pepper
- Montreal Steak Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons of oil or butter for frying
- Hamburger buns, dressing, and vegetables of your choice
- Mix your fat, meat, and some salt and pepper together.
- Make your patties whichever size you want.
- Season patties on both sides with the steak seasoning.
- Heat oil in a pan and add your burgers. Make sure pan is hot when you add the burgers and then lower the heat a bit.
- Cook burgers a few minutes on each side according to how you like the meat cooked. I like them well done so I cover the pan to make sure they cook all the way.
- Remove your burgers onto a plate when they are done.
- Build your burger on your bun however you like it!