Venison Burger

When I saw boneless venison short ribs, I thought they would be perfect to make venison burgers. I prefer beef short ribs to make my own beef burgers from scratch, because short ribs have a good meat-to-fat ratio for burgers and it is flavorful cut of meat.

I prefer a burger with a nice brown crust but medium rare on the inside. If you want to achieve that on a charcoal grill, the burger needs to be very thick. So I shaped the patties to be 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter with a thickness of 4 cm (1.5 inches). As those burgers are 300 grams (.66 lb) each, one can serve two. For the spices I opted a mix that is used in Italy for venison.


For 2 burger of 300 grams (.66 lb) each (10 cm/4 inches diameter, 4 cm/1.5 inch thick)

  • 600 grams (.66 lb) boneless venison short ribs
  • 6 grams salt (about 1 tsp table salt)
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary needles


Cube the meat.

Finely grind the meat in a meat grinder.

Mince the peppercorns, juniper berries, and rosemary very fine using a chef’s knife, mortar and pestle, or coffee grinder. As my garlic powder was clumped up somewhat, I ground that along with the other stuff.

It would have been better to mince the rosemary separately with a chef’s knife, as by including the rosemary in the coffee grinder the mix became somewhat sticky and more difficult to mix evenly with the ground venison.

Sprinkle the salt and spice mix on top of the groud venison, and mix it well.

Shape 2 burgers. I used two stainless steel food rings with a diameter of 10 cm (4 inches) and a height of 4 cm (1.5 inches). The rings ensure that the burgers will keep their shape during the vacuum sealing process.

Cook the burgers sous vide at 55C/131F for 90 minutes. You could extend the cooking time to 4 hours to pasteurize. If you use farmed venison and grind it yourself, pasteurizing is not necessary, unless you will be serving the burgers to someone with a compromised immune system or who is pregnant. Chill the burgers after cooking, still in the bags, in cold water with ice cubes.

Take the burgers out of the bags and remove the food rings, using a knife to separate the ring from the burger if needed.

Allow the burgers to come to room temperature before grilling them. Grill them over a very hot charcoal fire until deeply browned on both sides. Flip the burgers only a few times to get a good balance between browned on the outside and warm on the inside. If you flip them too often, they will be overcooked on the inside before they are brown on the outside. If you flip them only once, they may still be cold on the inside when they are browned on the outside. I grilled them 2 times approximately 2 minutes per side (so 8 minutes in total). The time needed depends on how hot your charcoal fire is. As the burgers are already cooked to medium rare using sous vide, you don’t have to worry about undercooking them. I prefer to have a burger that is medium rare and perhaps a bit lukewarm inside over an overcooked burger.

We enjoyed the burger with grilled eggplant and grilled portobello mushroom. The burger is so tasty that you don’t need a sauce.

Wine pairing

A spicy venison burger is great with a spicy red wine, such as a Syrah/Shiraz. We enjoyed it with a Saint-Joseph, a Syrah from the Northern Rhône Valley in France.


Today’s flashback contrasts with the simple venison burger and is a restaurant style dish of romanesco cauliflower with lobster and Thai green curry.

6 thoughts on “Venison Burger

  1. I grew up here in Vermont in a family of hunters and wild venison was frequently on our table. Many in my family still hunt, and while I no longer eat venison, I know quite a few people, my husband included, who would drool at the site of this dish! Brilliant how you vacuumed packed the meat in the little molds! Great idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looking at your beauties feel very envious as I cannot get venison here. Don’t think I have used juniper and rosemary together . . . am wondering how the combination would flavour kangaroo ! I also ,make my beef patties rather thick and cook them under the grill or on stovetop until crispy on the top and pretty pink in the middle . . . ,

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Have done some homework ! Some regard deer as a pest and some states simply do not allow it, others as Bambi !!! Some deer are farmed and sold in smaller shops. None seems to be imported from New Zealand. If one asks for game meat the usual offer is kangaroo . . . I guess we are simply largely unaware of it !!!

        Liked by 1 person

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