Also known as venison, deer meat is lean and rich in flavour. As it's low in fat, you need to add pork or beef fat into the mixture before grinding and cooking, otherwise it becomes dry and unappetizing. By creating your own mix of spices, you can be experimental with the burgers; as well as serving them on their own with a side dish, you can put them in buns and make mini-hamburgers as canapés to impress party guests.
For just a hint of spice without overpowering the meat, add peppercorns mixed with herbs like sage and bay leaves. Deer is stronger-tasting than other meats, so you need to add more pepper than you would for other burgers, like beef burgers. You can also purchase a ready-made rub for meat which might contain sage, basil, powdered celery and pepper.
If you like hot food, add hot paprika, chilli powder, cumin, garlic powder or crushed garlic, peppercorns and fennel seeds. Other suitable spices are cayenne pepper, mustard seeds and turmeric. A few tablespoons of red wine suit these spices and help to make the meat softer and ready for the grinder.
You can combine any of the spices mentioned above with smoked paprika. Adding smoky bacon instead of pork fat is also a good idea. Sage, thyme and fennel seeds combine well with these smoky flavours.
Italian meat can often be spicy like pepperoni, or contain a healthy amount of oregano. To make Italian-style burgers, mix oregano with basil, hot paprika, smoked paprika, fennel seeds, crushed garlic, onion and black pepper. Serve with pesto.
For a Southern-style twist, you can either purchase a ready-made blend of spices (such as Cajun varieties) or make your own by using a combination of nutmeg, allspice, sage, rosemary, ginger, thyme and black pepper.
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