Old World Venison Sliders by Chef Eileen Clarke
Sliders and dressed-up burgers are all the rage right now, but you don’t have to go to a restaurant to create a slider – or a full-sized burger – that will blow someone’s socks off. Those of us with game meat in the freezer are just as capable of crafting these extravagant bites on a bun.
Chef Eileen Clarke shares two favorites with us, including her Old World Slider that features a traditional mushroom topping. (You’ll find her other slider recipe online at OutdoorNews.com/Cooking; look for Italian-style venison sliders.) When preparing the featured Old World version here, note that if you’re not into mushrooms, slices of red onion, Dijon-style mustard, Kosher dill pickles, and kettle chips are equally delicious. Start with a good slider or standard-sized burger bun, then dress it up as tall and extravagant as you want.
If you’ve already added fat to your ground venison (you can utilize venison, elk, moose, caribou, or antelope meat in this recipe), you’ll have to back off that amount of fat when adding bacon, depending upon your taste.
You also can utilize lean ground beef, or even buffalo meat, but you will want to cut the bacon-to-meat ratio down to ¾-pound of meat to ¼-pound ground bacon.
8 ounces ground venison (no fat added)
8 ounces frozen bacon, ground
½ teaspoon dry-leaf thyme
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons butter
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup sour cream
Canned French-fried onions
1. In a large bowl, combine the ground meats, thyme, salt, white pepper, and red pepper flakes. Start cooking the mushrooms and burgers at the same time.
2. On the grill: Preheat to medium heat, brushing oil on the grill before adding the burgers. Cook about 5 minutes for sliders, 8 for burgers, turning once, then remove and cover with foil. Lightly brown the buns.
3. In a skillet: Preheat a large heavy-bottomed skillet to medium, and add the burgers. (No need for oil.) Cook about 5 minutes for sliders, 8 for burgers, or until no longer pink in the middle, about 160 F. Toast the buns.
4. Prepare the mushrooms: Preheat a large skillet to medium heat. Add the butter. When the butter starts to sizzle, add the mushrooms and garlic. Turn the heat down to medium low, then sauté the mushrooms and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring them now and then.
5. To assemble: Spoon the sautéed mushrooms over the burger, add the sour cream, and sprinkle generously with the French-fried onions.