Sunday, March 13, 2011

Venison Bacon Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries and Ancho Mayo

If you are going to fall off the wagon, you may as well do it in full bacon, cheese, mayonnaise and “side of fries” glory. This was officially the last sacred package of deer meat from the season so it had to be celebrated (thank you again Uncle Buddy!). This deer burger has bacon ground up with it to add fat and the most delicious flavor. Using an egg in the meat will help bind it when forming the patties.

My preferred way to garnish a burger is with barbecue sauce, sautéed onions, fresh slices of tomatoes and jalapenos and melting American cheese. American cheese is perfect for burgers because its mild flavor doesn’t overpower and it gives just the right amount of creaminess and gooey goodness needed to secure all the toppings.

I love sweet potato fries, so I have deep-fried some to serve alongside my venison burger. Serve them with a chili powder seasoned mayonnaise for the best flavor. I have used ancho chili powder but any variety should work fine.

1 ½ pounds/680 grams ground venison and bacon
1 egg, whisked
1 onion, thinly sliced
Safflower oil
4 slices of American cheese
2 jalapenos, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
4 Kaiser rolls, halved
Hickory barbecue sauce, to serve

Without overworking the meat, combine the venison and egg with your hands. Form four patties. Set aside.

Heat 1-2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium. When hot, add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until they are browned on the edges. Set aside.

Add one tablespoon of oil to the skillet and cook the patties for about 6 minutes each side or until cooked through. Remove patties from the skillet and pat dry with paper towels. Top with a slice of cheese to start it melting.

To assemble: Serve each burger, topped with cheese, on a roll or bun. Garnish with sautéed onions, tomato slices, jalapeno slices and hickory barbecue.

Serves 4

Sweet Potato Fries with Ancho Mayo
1 large sweet potato
Peanut oil, for frying
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
Sea salt, to taste

Cut the sweet potato into long, thin strips. Rinse them under cold water to remove excess starch. Allow them to dry on paper towels until all the excess water is removed. This will help make them crispier.

Fill a deep fryer or skillet with enough oil for frying. Heat the oil. Drop a piece of potato in the oil to determine whether it is hot enough for frying. If the oil immediately bubbles furiously around the potato, it is ready to fry. Do not overcrowd the skillet or deep fryer. These fries take about 3-5 minutes in a deep fryer. They will float to the top and turn brown when ready. Drain thoroughly and lay in a single layer on paper towels to remove excess oil. Add salt to taste.

Combine the mayonnaise, ancho powder and a pinch of salt. Serve alongside the fries for dipping.

Serves 4

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