Process Your Own Venison Burger Properly – During these tough times it makes sense to take advantage of any cost saving measures possible. This includes any folks lucky enough to bag a deer during your local hunting season. The problem is that an awful lot of people do not actually enjoy the gamy taste of a freshly killed deer, especially women. This year we did things a little differently, and got excellent results. Even all the women that tried it said they actually liked it. After 30 years of hunting, it is very satisfying to bring home a deer and not to have the meat shunned.
The first thing you have to know is to let the deer season (hang) for as long as possible. I live in Michigan, and we hung this deer for seven days with the hide on, and three days with the hide off. With the temperature in the twenties here, this was a total of ten days seasoning outside in the cold. Every climate will be different, so check with your local butcher or venison processor to determine the longest possible time you can hang the deer before processing. This takes some of the gamy taste out, and also tenderizes the meat. Some butchers do the same thing with beef, pork, etc. Just make sure you get the most seasoning time you possibly can before the actual butchering process begins.
When you butcher the deer, make sure you get all the tallow and fat off the burger meat that you can. As clean as possible makes for better meat. We make burger out of the neck, front shoulders, one hindquarter, and all the rib meat. Absolutely nothing goes to waste, and it all mixes in just fine to make very good burger.
So after the butchering is done, figure out about how many pounds of meat you will be turning into burger. We had about 30 pounds of meat to grind up. So we also ground up about a 5 pound pork roast to mix in with the venison, fat and all. This takes away the dryness of the venison, and helps to change the gamy taste. Add as much pork as you wish, but not so much that it begins to get expensive.
Now comes the easy part. We added two large onions and two green bell peppers into the meat. You have to run the meat through the grinder twice to make sure all the pork, onions, and peppers are mixed in thoroughly and evenly. Also add salt and pepper before mixing to suit your taste. After everything is all mixed together, put it in large bowls and let it stay in a cold refrigerator (not freezer) for a few days. This gives the extra ingredients a chance to soak the wild flavor out of the venison before you package and freeze the meat. These few days of setting before freezing are indispensable in knocking out the wild taste of the meat, so do not skip this step.
If you do not have a grinder, a butcher will grind it for you fairly inexpensively. If you pay to have your deer processed you can give him the pork, onions, and peppers to add in and do the rest the same way. I was told this also works on elk, mule deer, etc. We have whitetails here in Michigan, and that is what we did all this with.
My neighbors liked this so much they ground up their whole deer. Women and children had no complaints at all. To date we have used this meat for hamburgers, tacos, chili, and meatloaf. All of these dishes were considered excellent by everyone that partook. If you already have some frozen deer burger, thaw out a pack and add the above ingredients by hand. Let it sit in the fridge for a few days before you cook it and try it to see what you think.
Enjoy, and thanks for reading.