Venison Eggroll burgers hit the spot

Finished burgers, without and with crunchy egg roll wrappers crumbled on top. (Picture by Jerry Dilsaver)

Here’s a different take on cooking venison

Dare to be different! Many folks live their lives according to that motto, but they eat the same foods time after time. Dare to be different on the dinner table, too. This recipe is different but easy to make, and I believe most folks will like it.

This is a very easy, tasty and unusual way to prepare venison, and it fits the season. Several hunting seasons open Labor Day weekend, and deer season is well underway in South Carolina’s Lowcountry and a few weeks away across North Carolina. Once past Labor Day, fall is only a couple of weeks away.

Fall is a mixed time for sportsmen in the Carolinas. There are choices to be made on whether to set forth with rod or gun, and both include excellent opportunities. Some of the best fishing of the year is beginning and will continue for several months. And excited hunters will be returning to their comfort zones.

I usually provide a dove recipe in September, but I didn’t hunt doves much last year, and there weren’t any in reserve in the freezer.

What this means in the long run is y’all get an early venison recipe this year. Since it’s earlier than usual and a bit out of place, something unusual should fit the bill well, and I specialize in unusual.

I don’t know many folks who don’t like egg rolls and even fewer who don’t care for venison, so this recipe of venison egg roll burgers came to mind. In trying to be a bit healthier, it isn’t a fried egg roll, but a grilled or baked (your choice) venison burger stuffed with egg-roll ingredients. Most readers should have a few packs of venison burger still in their freezer, and I’ll recommend this as a fun and tasty way to prepare some of it.


Venison egg roll burger

Give this a try. It is a tasty and fun way to enjoy venison burgers. The first bite is sure to get your attention, as the taste isn’t what you expect. I like them, my wife likes them, and all my family and friends who have sampled them like them, too, so the consensus is they’re pretty good. I like to be outside and prefer these burgers grilled, but the option of baking them in the oven is good, also. This allows enjoying them when the weather is wet, plus later in the year when it’s cold outside.

Grilling burgers always provides just a bit more taste than baking them, but venison egg roll burgers are good either way. (Picture by Jerry Dilsaver)

There is a little prep time, but you can be eating not too long after starting, so it works well whether in a relaxed or rushed preparation. It also works well with hamburger for those folks that don’t care for venison or have already used all their venison from the previous season.

Baking the burgers in the oven is pretty simple, and they taste good, but most of my friends agree they’re definitely better cooked on the grill. The main thing when cooking them in the oven is to use a rack or broiling pan so they don’t sit in their drippings and get greasy. I use a cooling rack over a baking pan to let the grease drop away but be contained for easy cleanup.

Cooking burgers on a grill requires more attention, but I think you’ll agree it’s worth the effort. The grilled flavor is an excellent addition to the egg roll seasonings. Grills have different heat at similar settings, so there’s the matter of finding the right one for your grill.  The key is to cook them slowly enough to get the middle cooked but not to overcook and char them.

This is where cooking the burgers at lower heat and under the foil shines. It allows them to reach medium doneness without charring the edges. Then, removing the foil and raising the heat allows getting a little crisping around the edges to enhance the flavor. This may take a little experimentation. I’ll caution again to be careful not to overcook the burgers. Not only does this affect the flavor, but it overcooks the cabbage, and that isn’t good.

A quarter-pound is about right for these burgers. It’s a reasonable size to be a hamburger steak, and it fits on a bun well for those who think hamburgers should be eaten with bread. This is a mild-flavored burger that tastes much like an egg roll. Warming and crunching an egg roll wrapper, then sprinkling it on the burger adds to the egg roll taste. This lends itself to being prepared mild and then adding spices. If you prefer this as a burger in a bun, try it with a slice of chilled tomato — you won’t regret it.


INGREDIENTS:

1- to 11/4-pound venison hamburger

1/2 sweet onion

1 bag (16 ounces) angel hair (thin-sliced) coleslaw mix

1/2 cup matchstick sliced carrots

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 cup Soy sauce

Salt, pepper to taste

Non-stick cooking spray

Aluminum foil

Optional:  Egg roll wrappers, Chinese spicy mustard, more soy sauce, sriracha sauce, hamburger buns, cheese, tomato and your preferred hamburger fixings.

PREPARATION:

A burger that weighs around a quarter-pound is the perfect size for this recipe. (Picture by Jerry Dilsaver)

Dice the onion and sauté onion and carrots in a frying pan in cooking spray until not quite done (still lightly crispy). Mix venison, sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Work the cabbage from the slaw mix, carrots and onion into the burger. Knead this with your hands to be sure it is thoroughly mixed.

Form the burgers to your preferred size. My venison burger packs are approximately 11/4 pounds, and I get 6 nice burgers. Cook the burgers by grilling or baking.

If you’re grilling, place the burgers on a vegetable tray that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and cover loosely with aluminum foil, then cook over low/medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes without turning. Remove the foil and cook an additional 4 to 6 minutes over medium heat. These times will vary between individual grills and the height of the grill above the fire.

If you’re baking, place the burgers on an elevated tray — I use a cooling rack — in a baking pan. Cook them at 425 for approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Do not turn the burgers and be careful not to overcook them. These burgers will reach medium without crusting like grilled or fried burgers. Serve the burgers as hamburger steaks on a plate without bread to preserve the most of the egg roll flavor.

Bake several egg roll wrappers and crush them to be sprinkled on the burgers to add the full egg roll taste. If you choose to do this, be aware the cooking time is much shorter than the directions on the package, as the wrappers won’t have any filling. Remove them from the oven as soon as they show any sign of browning, or they will brown too much.

Venison egg roll burgers can also be served on a bun, with a slice of tomato, cheese and your favorite condiments. Be aware that everything you add will mask some of the egg roll flavor.

These burgers have vegetables in the mix. Corn on the cob or a baked potato work well for a side, and I’m always up to add a fresh green salad or lettuce wedge. If you like to add a dessert, a slice of fresh baked apple pie is a great way to go. Adding a scoop of ice cream is a personal choice. Go for it.

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About Jerry Dilsaver 1115 Articles
Jerry Dilsaver of Oak Island, N.C., a full-time freelance writer, is a columnist for Carolina Sportsman. He is a former SKA National Champion and USAA Angler of the Year.

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