The “Lanny Burger”
Here in Middle Georgia there is a local butcher shop that sells what they call the “Fromm Burger”. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the name ‘Fromm’, he is the Sophomore Quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs who went to Warner Robbins High School here in Middle Georgia – yup, the same Jake Fromm that took our beloved Bulldogs as a Freshman quarterback to the SEC Championship last year.
Although the Fromm Burger is tasty,….. (it’s made with chuck that is mixed with Swiss cheese, mushrooms, and diced onion),…. it just doesn’t stack up to good ‘ol Middle Georgia ground White Tail Deer – especially from one that I took this past fall on our property! I’ve found that the venison here in Middle Georgia to be very mild in flavor and not particularly ‘gamey’ as I have experienced with venison from other areas of the U.S. and Alaska. Because of this (if properly prepared), it is hard to tell the difference between it and a high grade serving of organic grass fed beef!
Organic health benefits aside, the only real challenge to using ground venison is that it is extremely lean, and extremely easy to over cook……. Thus enter three of my favorite flavors and textures,……. Onions, Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese, and Bacon! Since Gorgonzola cheese melts at a lower temperature than Swiss cheese, it will add some much needed fat along with a nice flavorful ‘tang’ without overcooking the venison. The diced yellow onion will add a bit of a mild crunch texture. The bacon wrap also provides a bit of fat to the outer edges of the burger, but its main task is to help keep those juices inside of the burger while it’s being grilled on each side. Be sure to season with a little sea salt and fresh ground pepper or what ever you like just before grilling. Since I like the mild flavor of Middle Georgia venison, I try not to add too many other flavors, (other than maybe a few drops of Worcestershire sauce) but to each their own, just keep in mind that…. Flavors are like a good ‘Marriage’ – they need to ‘work together’ – not ‘compete’ with one another.
When grilling, be sure to start with a nice hot grill. There’ll be a few flare ups from the bacon grease, so be prepared to move the patties around on the grill just a bit – remember, the focus here is to create a good sear on the outside of the patty in order to enclose all of the flavorful juices.
The thickness of the burgers will determine the amount of time it will take to cook on the grill. Since I like about 1″ thick burgers, I typically cook them about 7-8 minutes on each side. Just be careful NOT to overcook! Remember, venison IS NOT BEEF, and the biggest mistake most people make when preparing a venison dish is to cook it as if were beef. Venison cooked to ‘beef medium’ is well OVERCOOKED!
Add a little homemade ‘Burger Sauce’ and believe me, you’ll never look at venison (or burgers) the same way again!
Ingredients: (One Burger)
- 1/2 lb fresh Ground Venison
- Some crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
- Some finely Diced Onion
- A few splashes Worcestershire Sauce
- Some fresh ground Cyprus Black Lava Sea Salt
- Some fresh ground Black Pepper