Venison is for everyone!

Posted by True Highlands in Scottish Recipes | 0 comments

Venison has a bit of a reputation. It’s hard for most people to divorce its image from associations with the Scottish gentry. It conjures up images of banquets, royalty and elaborate formal dining, but it doesn’t have to be like this. I firmly believe that venison should be for everyone, so in an attempt to reclaim it for the masses I have here a recipe for something that sums up, for me, the very opposite of haute cuisine. Something that is unpretentious, wholesome, but at the same time still very tasty.

This is my version of the ubiquitous all American classic, with a Scottish twist, that uses mostly local ingredients. A quick and easy dinner that is also great for barbecues (if we ever get the weather) and much healthier than that burger restaurant chain, with the Scottish name, that we dare not mention.


Venison is naturally lean, so the first thing you have to do is add something a bit fatty like pancetta. This will help the cooking process and give our burgers that juicy melt in the mouth sensation when you first bite into them. The eggs yolks will also help to keep the burgers moist and add richness and flavour.

500g ground venison
200 grams minced pork or pancetta
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large egg yolks
1 large dash Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. olive oil
Pinch of freshly ground mustard seeds or powder

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients using your hands, mix gently, then divide into 4-6 balls. Form the balls into burgers, about 1½ inches thick, then cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side on a hot griddle pan.

To serve the perfect burger, I prefer to use brioche buns as they soak up the juices a bit better than regular rolls and the sweet, almost chewy texture, is so much nicer than cheap white foamy buns that some supermarkets sell. I would toast them gently before serving for a bit of added crunch as you bite into them.

My ideal accompaniment would be a base of red onions, caramelised with malt vinegar and brown sugar, a lettuce leaf from the garden, a crumble of blue cheese which I think complements the strong flavour of the meat perfectly, some sweet American mustard, and a slice of gherkin.

A dollop of coleslaw on the side, some thin cut fries and a local ale. Now that’s a royal feast.

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