By: Jim Richman
If there is anything I love during the Spring and Summer, it's firing up the grill. I especially love being able to cook favorite venison recipes during these months for friends and family. One recipe that always goes over well, particularly for spicy food lovers, and is also handy to have in the freezer for work-week meals is the Jalapeño venison burger. It's a great opportunity to make room the fresh turkey and fish that will soon be on it's way into the freezer, and a spicy alternative to the typical burgers and bratwursts we love so much.
Start by combining one pound of ground venison and one pound of unseasoned ground pork in a large bowl. Once the meat has been mixed well and has consistent color throughout, add three tablespoons Worcestershire, two tablespoons seasoning salt, one large, finely chopped Jalapeño pepper, and one cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the meat.
Next, use a burger press to create your desired size patty. I like 1/4-1/3lb patties just for quick cooking. Using the burger press allows for more even cooking time, it also helps you determine approximately how many patties you can make with the amount of meat you are using. Place patties in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes to allow the burgers to firm before grilling.
As the burgers are cooling, it's time to prep the grill. I like to use one full chimney of hardwood lump charcoal, mixed with hickory chips to provide an extra layer of depth to the finished burger. Then it's up to you. You decide how you like to eat your burger, pink or no pink. I like to arrange the burgers in an indirect grilling pattern to allow them to cook slowly and then finish with a reverse sear. You may like a flame broiled burger. Go for it!
What's great about burgers? You can serve them how you like them! I like to turn up the heat with a dill-jalapeno relish and shredded cheddar cheese. It's also incredible to add potato salad, cole slaw, or if you really want to go crazy, make it a Royale with a sunny side up egg on top. This will be a crowd pleaser at turkey camp, the fishing cabin, or just at your next family get-together. What do you do with leftovers? Toss em in a ziplock, and freeze them. They heat up great for lunch at work and will make your co-workers want to trade you their PB&J.
Have a great recipe? Share it in the comments below!