Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Grandpa's Venison Burgers

photo by Jodi Richards

“This is a new spin on my grandpa’s recipe for venison burgers. As an avid fisher and hunter, he often served these delicious burgers to my dad, aunt and uncle when they were growing up. Grandpa uses the sausage to give the lean venison some extra fat to hold the patties together on the grill. I’ve added the spices and peppers to give it a little extra heat!” – Megan Moore, dietetic intern with Seneca County Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Grandpa David’s Venison Burgers

Makes 6 burgers.

1 lb ground venison

2 Italian sausages

1 small onion

½ cup mushrooms

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon dried thyme

For extra heat, 1-2 Tablespoons diced jalapeno or poblano pepper (about 1whole jalapeno or 1/3 of a whole poblano)

Hamburger buns

Peel and dice half of the onion into ¼” pieces. Wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel then dice into ¼” pieces. If using jalapeno or poblano, rinse the pepper and dice to ¼” pieces. (For less heat, remove the seeds and sauté the peppers in oil before adding into the meat. For more heat, add the seeds and uncooked peppers.)

Remove sausage from casing if necessary. Mix ground venison, sausage, onion, mushrooms, peppers if using, and spices by hand. Divide into 6 even portions, about 3 ounces each. Shape the patties into thick rounds with a slight impression in the middle of each.

Grill patties on preheated flattop griddle or two sided grill. The patties will be very lean so it is best not to cook them on a grated grill as they may fall apart. Cook until a thermometer inserted into the center of a patty reads at least 160° F.

Top with your favorite hamburger toppings (suggested: lettuce, tomato, onion and barbeque sauce) and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Venison (or goose) Jerky

Clean out the freezer of last year's venison by making some jerky to snack on during this hunting season. Jerky is really quite easy to make, yet it takes some time and reliable, science-based recipes must be followed. One reason to use last year's deer from your freezer for making jerky is because game meat should be frozen at 5 degrees Fahrenheit or below for at least 20 days to kill the Trichinella parasite that causes the disease, trichinosis. Other reasons could be proper rotation of your freezer space, defrosting your freezer before restocking it with this year's quarry, and jerky tastes great!

  • Take about 2lb of meat out of the freezer, choosing a cut that will slice well, such as steaks, chops or roasts. Place the meat in the refrigerator to defrost. Partially frozen meat is easier to slice. Do not defrost the meat at room temperature because this will allow bacteria to multiply and potentially cause an unsafe product. Trim fat from the meat and slice the meat into slices no thicker than 1/4 inch. Slice with the grain if a chewy jerky is desired and across the grain if a more brittle, tender jerky is preferred.
  • Make a jerky marinade by combining 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 T. Worcestershire sauce, dash of pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, and 1 t. of hickory smoke flavored salt (or regular salt if you can't find this). Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a shallow glass or ceramic (not metal) pan and place meat in the pan, being sure to coat all of the pieces with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate the marinating meat for 1-2 hours or overnight (product will taste saltier the longer it is marinated).
  • Remove the pan from the refrigerator and place meat along with the marinade in a skillet or pan and place on the stove over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Boil the mixture for 5 minutes (this will kill any bacteria by reaching 160 degrees Fahrenheit). Remove the strips of meat and place to drain on clean absorbent towels.
  • Arrange the meat strips on dehydrator trays with the meat close together but not touching. If you are dehydrating in an oven, place meat on metal racks that are placed on cooking sheets to catch the drippings. Place the racks in a dehydrator or convection oven preheated to 140-145 degrees. For more information on using a dehydrator, convection or regular oven to dehydrate food see the Drying Food in NYS publication from Cornell Cooperative Extension. Begin checking the meat after about 3 hours to see if it is dry. It should crack, but not break when bent.
  • For more information see "Preparing Safer Jerky" from Cooperative Extension found here.
  • Goose breast meat can also be prepared the same way.