Posts Tagged ‘burger’

Quarantine time is a time to try new recipes. So when I got a couple of pounds of ground venison from my buddy, Bruce, an avid hunter here in my town, I started thinking about what I could make with it.



I didn’t want to go with a venison burger right out of the gate. After all, venison is very lean, containing half the fat of beef, but with more protein. In fact, venison even challenges chicken in the protein department. But being really lean, it would dry out as a burger, so I decided to go with the safer option of making a taco with it.

Well, somewhere in the process of taco making, I thought of pork and beans and said: “Yeah, what if I made something like venison pork and beans? How bad could that be?”

Well, venison and beans can almost be called chili (depending on what rules you have about beans in chili), and I thought: “But I don’t really like chili.” But then I thought: “It’s not chili if I don’t call it chili.” Problem solved!


I used small red beans, but you can use what you like.


So what I finally came up with is a venison pork-and-bean chili taco…or something like that.

Whatever…it tastes pretty good!

And obviously, if you don’t have venison, you can use lean (like 93%) beef for this recipe.



1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 strips (about 40g) pre-cooked bacon, finely chopped
1 lb. ground venison
Taco seasoning (see the recipe below)
20 grape tomatoes (100g), chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard (I like Gulden’s)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (Only Lea & Perrins will do)
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cans (15.5 oz. each) of small red beans, not drained


Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a baking pan with oil spray (I use avocado) and set aside.

In a large pan, heat the avocado oil and add the chopped onion. Sauté the onion until it’s translucent.

Add the chopped bacon, and sauté until some of the fat starts rendering out of it.

Add the pound of venison, and cook until the meat has browned nicely, adding the taco seasoning to the meat as it cooks, little by little, until you’ve used all the taco seasoning up.

Add the chopped grape tomatoes, and stirring after each addition, add the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, and brown sugar.

Pour in the two cans of beans, liquid and all, and stir gently, letting it all come to a boil.



Pour the contents of the sauté pan into the baking pan, cover it with foil, and place it in the 350-degree oven to cook for 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes, remove the foil off the pan and cook another 10 minutes.


The Taco Seasoning…
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon paprika

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and set it aside.



Once the venison pork-and-bean chili taco meat has finished cooking, I like to use it in a flour tortilla, with shredded lettuce and a little shredded cheese on top.


Shredded lettuce, grated cheddar cheese, some raw Vidalia onion, and a touch of 1000 Island dressing!



Ernest Hemingway loved his burgers…and he loved to put all kinds of crazy ingredients in them. Following the basic guidelines of his recipe, seen below, I put my own spin on it.

Hemingway's burger notes

Hemingway’s burger notes

I skipped the India relish. Didn’t have it in my pantry.

Beau Monde Seasoning is readily available, but I made my own at home:

1 tablespoon cloves

1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon Bay leaf powder

1 tablespoon allspice

2 tablespoons black pepper

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 tablespoon white pepper

Combine all these ingredients, grinding to a powder whatever you have as whole pieces: cloves, bay leaves, nutmeg, etc. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar.

And Mei Yen Powder can be replaced with equal parts salt, sugar, and MSG (which I leave out.) To this I add some soy sauce.

So here’s my take on it:


1 lb. grass-fed ground beef

2 garlic cloves, squeezed through a garlic press

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 tablespoon capers

1 teaspoon dried sage

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon homemade Beau Monde seasoning

1/3 cup white wine (I use Alice White chardonnay)

1 raw egg

Combine all ingredients and let it sit in the fridge for an hour. The meat may be a bit mushy, but you can form 4 equal sized patties. Place them in a hot ovenproof pan that has a little oil and sear on one side. Flip burgers, and sear on the other side. Place pan in a 350-degree oven and cook until desired doneness.

The verdict: Hemingway was crazy! Though the burger had some exotic flavors–it tasted almost like a burger from the Middle East–my personal choice is still to go with a relatively plain burger of exceptional quality, season it lightly, and cook it to medium-rare. Toppings like caramelized onions or sautéed mushrooms are always welcome, but in many ways, less is more. Hemingway clearly thinks more is more…but maybe his burger meat wasn’t all that good and he need to mask the bad flavor. Anyway…a fun experiment!