Spending a lot of my childhood summer holidays camping in the highlands I got to know that part of the world pretty well. During these holidays I became acquainted with wild brown trout, picked wild raspberries and made jam, and had my first prawns and crabs I’d watched landed that day. However it was always the red deer and the name venison that caught my imagination. These majestic creatures which are as wild as the hills yet also roam so close to man as to render a boy awestruck as they cantered off, antlers proudly pointing skyward with a mythical beauty. These are the deer which yield my favourite meat, quickly cooked and very rare the flavour is rich beyond measure. However they also make the finest burgers and this was the first way that I tried them and it’s my interpretation of them which I give you here. Venison is very low fat and I don’t add pork fat so if you’re frying give them plenty oil and if barbecuing then be careful not to overcook and dry them out. These are my flavour of a Scottish summer and are filled with memories.
Venison burgers (makes 4)
500g Venison mince
1 onion finely chopped
1tsp Garlic (grated)
1 tsp Ginger (grated)
1/2 tsp Allspice (ground)
1/4 tsp Sea salt
Sunflower or vegetable oil for frying
1. In a good glug of oil brown the onions really well without burning. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until no longer smelling raw.
2. Add the onion mix to the mince, allspice, salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Mix together to a homogenous mix.
3. Split the burger mixture into four balls then flatten into patties. Shallow fry in more of the oil for 6-7 minutes each side or until cooked through.
First published as a guest post for The American Cook in June 2015