No, no, not the Super Bowl.
I believe I've mentioned my coworkers before, no? Well, in addition to the recipe-swapping ladies, we also have the hunting-and-fishing men. One particular coworker goes hunting quite a bit, and he's pretty generous with his spoils. Yesterday he brought in a huge box of ground venison and told us we could each have some.
Now let me tell you about my previous experience with venison. Suffice to say it ended with me in the emergency room at St. Francis for 8 hours with food poisoning the day after the 2008 election. I like to think it was the outcome of that election that triggered the Exorcist-style vomiting, or possibly my body's natural reaction to the idiot of a boyfriend I had at the time. However, scientifically it was probably the venison at the election party the night before. That's what my hospital admission sheet said, anyway.
So when my coworker offered up the meat yesterday, I was tempted, but hesitant. People talk about how good venison is and also how lean it is, but one does not forget in a hurry having a giant scary IV being shoved into one's arm (have I mentioned I'm not particularly terrific with medical stuff?). But he gave me a recipe for venison burgers that I was sure my B could manage to cook properly so that his wife-to-be did not end up in the hospital.
And so I accepted the venison. And it was gooooooood. First of all, his burger recipe was great on its own. In fact, it's going to be my new go-to for beef burgers, also. But the venison just added a little something extra. I really liked the mild game-y flavor, and the 57 Sauce was just perfection with it.
Plus, this is about as "farm to table" as we're going to get when it comes to meat. We didn't KNOW the deer personally (I don't tend to be on speaking terms with the animal kingdom, except for my Luna-bug), but we know the guy who shot it, and he's a legit hunter/fisher. No funny additives going into this meat.
We served it with oven-baked fries and sauteed broccoli. Honestly, though, the sides were kind of "meh" compared to the burger, and that's saying something. Usually I choke down a little of the meat and simply eat the side dishes, so that should tell you something.
We also served it with a mini-growler of Anderson Valley "El Steinber" dark lager, and that served as a great complement to the flavor of the deer meat (Big Jon, are you listening? Pass this along to the regulars!).
Plus, the mood was just festive. We had something to celebrate: we booked our honeymoon today. Costa Rica, here we come! And today is also 100 days until we're married - I CAN'T WAIT.
And you shouldn't wait, either, to make these delicious burgers. Seriously, go find some venison. This is South Carolina people. It can't be that hard. You have to know somebody, somewhere, who's shot a deer. So make these burgers. And ENJOY!
Joe's Venison Burgers
Heinz 57 sauce
1 minced onion
4-5 cloves minced garlic
Montreal steak seasoning
Mix ingredients together. Form into patties, layer on waxed paper, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Grill to your desired specifications, keeping in mind that venison is very lean and burns very easily.