Venison Burgers with Roquefort

The term 'venison' used to refer to all furred game but now we just use it for deer. This recipe is adapted from my book, Amy Willcock's Aga Seasons (Ebury Press; £20).

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 35 minutes 35 minutes

Makes: 6 burgers

Ingredients

  • Gherkins, to serve
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 x 270g packs venison steak
  • 100g pork belly, rind removed
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 100g Roquefort cheese, sliced
  • 6 burger buns
  • Coleslaw, to serve

Method

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onions until they are translucent. Meanwhile, dice the venison and chop the pork belly very finely.
  2. Put the venison, pork belly, sage, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, cooked onions, salt and pepper in a food processor and process to a coarse mince. Do not overprocess; it should not be smooth.
  3. Wipe the onion frying pan with kitchen paper and put back on to the heat.
  4. Divide the venison mixture into 6 and, with wet hands, shape into burgers about 8cm in diameter and 2cm thick.
  5. Add 1 tbsp oil to the frying pan and fry the burgers for 3-4 minutes each side. They should be cooked all the way through and a little charred on the outside. Top each burger with Roquefort and leave in the pan with the heat off while you split and toast the buns.
  6. Fill each bun with a Roquefort-topped burger. Serve with coleslaw, gherkins and perhaps a handful of vegetable crisps.