Warning. Graphic Content Below.
A staple at the summer meet and something our children absolutely love. Venison burgers are a great way of processing the meat if you have it in regular supply. Where we live the predominant species is Roe deer. This is one I wanted purely for burgers.
You cannot guarantee to go out and shoot a beast, no matter how good you are. You do however need to ensure before you go out that everything is in place should you be fortunate enough to get one. Here is what I personally have ready for if and when I come back with a beast.
A good quality mincer is a must. I cannot praise this one enough, its handled everything I have put through it with ease. The mincer even comes with a sausage stuffing attachment, however, I use a stand alone as its far more convenient for me.
Obviously, knives are paramount for any butchery, I have my stunning handmade knife made by my good friend Simon and it comes with me every time.
You will need a nice boning knife, this one is cheap and yet holds a great edge. A cleaver is always useful, this one has a good weight and good reviews. Steel or stone the choice is yours, I have both. My bench is stainless and my board is a lump of English oak. If you wanted to buy a good board this one is great for the price. Unless you want 100 plus burgers all the same flavour I would suggest buying some mixes, here are two of my favourites. Premium venison mix and juniper mix. Though primarily for sausages they are equally good for burgers.
You cant make burgers in any sensible quantity without a burger press. There are a plethora of presses available nowadays from this to more commercial lines like this. If you intend on making a hand full of burgers once a year then a cheap plastic press is fine however the more commercial option really does make life a lot easier. WIth all presses, you will need the wax disks.
You have the beast, now what? I have a pulley system fitted in my garage for when I need to skin my animals, Its very basic but it does take the strain out of tying a carcass to a frame.
As with any animal, it is important to take the entrails out asap and allow the carcass to cool down. Once the skin is off you can then cut the carcass into the “primal” cuts.
Next, you want to debone all the cuts, there is no need for any expertise or finesse for this, you are purely cutting the meat from the bone.
Let’s get mincing, again no need for lessons here I suppose, I would suggest keeping the meat refrigerated whilst mincing as it just keeps the meat that little bit firmer and will pay dividends for the next bit.
Mixing It Up
Hopefully, by now you will have a bucket of mince like this.
To this, I will add a 10 percent weight ratio of Either pork back fat or belly pork, whichever I have at the time. Roe deer is a very lean meat so the pork just gives it that added moisture it needs.
Putting It All Together
Remember when I said to refrigerate the meat whilst you mince it? The time has come to add the flavour mix. This needs to be mixed first off with ice cold water, the yeasts and proteins are destroyed or tainted by warm temperature and will cause a heat reaction to the mix. The minced meat being chilled just helps everything mix that little bit easier. If you’re not confident with mixing the ingredients by hand then I suggest you mix the flavour pack separate. pour that into the mince, then put the whole lot back through the mincer. I cannot stress enough the importance to keep the mixture cool.
Gather the press and disks. Start putting rounds of the mixture in the press. A disk below and a disk above the round of mixture will ensure the burger is released from the press. The disks also ensure the burgers will easily separate once they have been frozen.
I use the plastic mushroom crates you find a the supermarket or from the fruit market. These stack and hold a good amount of burgers and sausages without taking up masses of room in the chest freezer.
Obviously, if you intend on doing it on a less industrious scale then biscuit tins, and old tubs will do just fine. For sausage, you can buy poly bags and then seal them up with this sealer. A really useful bit of kit, not just for the meat counter but the kitchen too.
Whether its sausages or burgers, in our house they don’t last long. Hopefully, this will encourage you to make your own burgers and sausages and maybe even show us how you get on? I have links on the post for all the items you need. These items if bought through this page will give me a small commision to go towards this and future posts on the site.