Havarti Cheese Stuffed Venison Burgers
From the Chef, Justin Townsend: Venison burgers are the classic go-to for ground meat in my house. I always set aside the prime cuts on the deer and then everything else gets ground up later. I try to get as much ground meat off of the deer as possible. Stuffing the patties with cheese add another element of deliciousness to a normal burger. I chose to use Havarti cheese because it is a semi-soft cheese that is easy to melt and the combination of buttery, nutty, and a slight sweetness of flavor exemplifies the “gaminess” of the venison. I find this especially the case for venison that was harvesting in areas where their diet is primarily made up of acorns and other nuts.
1.5 lbs of ground venison
½ cup bread crumbs
1 egg, whisked
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Cajun seasonings
Salt and pepper to taste
Condiments – Including sliced fresh tomato, sliced red onion, and fresh lettuce.
1. Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl
2. Press or form the meat into an even number of thin patties (approximately ¼ inch thick)
3. Divide a slice of cheese into four pieces
4. Place the four pieces on top of one patty
5. Place another patty on top of the cheese and press the sides together or use a burger press to seal the cheese inside the meat
6. Grill, bake, or pan-cook until the meat is a temperature which you are comfortable with, I personally like mine medium.
7. Serve with your favorite condiments
About the Chef: Justin Townsend has been a hunter and angler since he was a child and has always enjoyed the outdoors. He was raised in Southeastern Oklahoma where hunting and fishing was used as a way to supplement home-grown and store-bought food. Justin moved away from home to college where he was able to tune his culinary skills as a professional chef. As time progressed, Justin combined his passion for the outdoors and his love for food to create the online publication, Harvesting Nature. Currently, Justin serves as the Editor-in Chief of Harvesting Nature and is a Pro Staff member for First Lite. www.harvestingnature.com
A Note From the Kitchen: If you’ve never used a burger press before, and you process your own game meat, you’ll kick yourself for never investing in this useful piece of equipment. The newer models feature non-stick coating and spring loaded plungers that make it easy to pop out uniform patties in thicknesses from ¼ to 1 ½ inch. Weston Products carries a 4 ½ inch diameter model made of heavy duty aluminum. Cabela’s All-In-One burger press is designed perfectly for these gourmet-style stuffed burgers.