Want a fresh twist on the classic burger? You have to try this blueberry venison burger I made the other day! I use venison that my husband hunt for and grind himself. If you are doing the same, be sure to give it at least two passes through the grinder. I like to use the shoulder, and I typically opt for three passes.
This recipe works just fine with buffalo and beef as well but, it is hunting season! Venison is very lean, and what little fat it has in it is primarily good fat. When an animal grows up in the wild, it tends to have a more natural diet, resulting in a superior lipid profile (more omega 3’s and such). Which is why I love venison burgers.
It is, however, true that the low-fat content of venison can sometimes make it a difficult meat to cook properly. It can dry out and become tough if overcooked. There isn’t much of a margin for error. To combat this, I add extra fat to the recipe. This recipe of blueberry venison burger calls for canola oil which is a good, high heat, and relatively tasteless oil. Bacon fat, pork/hog fat, and beef fat are all good substitutes as well. Just be sure to either grind them along with the venison OR render them down to a liquid in a pan.
What’s So Healthy With This Blueberry Venison Burger Recipe
Aside from the low-fat meat being used in this recipe, Blueberries are a powerhouse of antioxidants. This is one of the best foods to eat when sick because they contain so much Vitamin C. The vitamin content of the blueberry is another reason why this is such an excellent recipe for deer season, which for the uninitiated, means: wintertime, cold weather, and regular battles with the flu.
If you haven’t already gotten some Dale’s, go do it now. I use this instead of salt in most recipes. It’s a lightly seasoned soy sauce. You can use soy sauce if you must but, don’t. Hoisin sauce is just amazing. It is a thick, caramelly, soy sauce-based sauce. Its consistency is similar to that of BBQ sauce. As far as flavour goes, the closest thing I could compare it to is a hibachi-style teriyaki. Hoisin sauce, however, has a much different flavour when you combine it with sriracha; WOW, just wow.
Blueberry Venison BurgerPrint Recipe
- 1 pound of ground venison
- 1/2 cup of blueberries
- 1 tablespoon of low-sodium Dale’s Steak Sauce (or low-sodium soy sauce)
- 1 tablespoon of canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/4 cup of hoisin sauce
- Sriracha – optional topping
- Preheat your grill to Med-High heat.
- Combine venison, blueberries, Dale’s, canola oil, and black pepper in a mixing bowl. Use your hands to combine everything and try not to crush the berries when mixing.
- Place the burgers on the hot grill and cook 3-4 minutes on one side.
- Flip the burgers and baste the tops with hoisin sauce. Grill for another 3-4 minutes.
- Flip the burger AGAIN so that the hoisin-sauced side is down. Now baste the tops with hoisin sauce, and cook for 1-2 minutes, allowing the hoisin sauce to caramelize.
- Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes so that both sides are now glazed with the caramelized hoisin sauce.
- Check the internal temp with a meat thermometer. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
- Remove burgers from the grill and allow them to rest for a few minutes.
- Drizzle with Sriracha! Enjoy!
I’m not including exact times or grill temperatures because there are so many variables including, the temperature of the meat before cooking, how often you open the lid to the grill, the temperature outside, and the type of grill (charcoal or gas). The easiest way to check if the meat is fully cooked is to poke a hole in it and observe the color of the juices that come out. If the juices are red or pink, keep on cooking it. If the juices are clear with a light yellow tint then, it is ready. The only problem with this method is that the burger could dry out more easily by allowing the juices to flow out during the grilling process.
Other toppings I would highly recommend here are grilled or caramelized onions and, fresh chopped rosemary. It sounds crazy but for some reason grilled fruits work incredibly well with caramelized onions and rosemary. You have to try it.