Are you a fan of venison burgers but find them lacking in flavor and juiciness? Adding some fat to your ground venison can make all the difference.
But what if you don’t have access to pork fat or a meat grinder? Fear not, because there is another option: lard.
Yes, you read that right. Lard can be mixed with venison to create a finely marbled patty that rivals even the best beef burgers.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of adding fat to your venison, the different types of fat you can use, and how to mix it all together for a delicious and satisfying meal.
So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!
Can You Mix Lard With Venison?
The short answer is yes, you can mix lard with venison. In fact, it can be a great alternative to using pork fat or beef tallow.
As wild animals that get plenty of exercise, deer are in much better shape than cows. This means that venison has a lot less fat than most beef, which can make it harder to grill and less juicy. Adding some fat to your ground venison can help solve this problem.
While pork fat is a popular choice for adding fat to venison, not everyone has access to it or a meat grinder. This is where lard comes in. Lard is a type of fat that comes from pigs and can be used in place of pork fat.
When using lard, it’s important to choose a good quality, pastured lard rather than the processed version. This will ensure that you’re getting a high-quality fat that will add flavor and juiciness to your venison burger.
Why Add Fat To Venison?
There are several reasons why adding fat to venison is important. First and foremost, venison is an extremely lean meat, which can make it dry and crumbly when ground. Adding fat helps to add moisture and flavor to the meat, making it more enjoyable to eat.
In addition, fat also helps to bind the meat together, which is especially important when making burgers or sausages. Without fat, the meat can fall apart or become too crumbly to form into a patty or link.
Another benefit of adding fat to venison is that it can help to mask any gamey flavor that some people may not enjoy. By adding a flavorful fat like pork or lard, you can help to balance out the strong flavor of the venison.
Finally, adding fat to venison can also help to improve the texture of the meat. Without fat, ground venison can be dry and tough, but adding a little bit of fat can help to create a more tender and juicy product.
Types Of Fat To Use In Venison
When it comes to adding fat to venison, there are a few different options to choose from. Here are some of the most common types of fat to use in venison:
1. Pork Fat: Pork fat is a popular choice for adding fat to venison because it’s readily available and easy to work with. It also has a mild flavor that won’t overpower the taste of the venison. When using pork fat, it’s important to choose a high-quality, fresh product and grind it together with the venison.
2. Beef Tallow: Beef tallow is another option for adding fat to venison, and it’s especially good for grilling or frying. It has a rich, beefy flavor that complements the taste of the venison. When using beef tallow, make sure to choose a high-quality product and mix it well with the ground venison.
3. Lard: As mentioned earlier, lard can also be used as a substitute for pork fat when adding fat to venison. It has a mild flavor and a smooth texture that works well with the lean meat. When using lard, make sure to choose a high-quality, pastured product for the best results.
4. Venison Fat: While deer don’t have a lot of fat on them, there are still some areas where fat can be harvested for cooking. Venison fat has a unique flavor that can enhance the taste of the meat, but it can be difficult to work with because it’s so lean. If you do choose to use venison fat, make sure to grind it well and mix it thoroughly with the ground meat.
Ultimately, the type of fat you choose will depend on your personal preference and what’s available to you. Experiment with different types of fat until you find the one that works best for your venison burger recipe.
Benefits Of Using Lard In Venison
There are several benefits to using lard in venison. Firstly, lard is high in monounsaturated fats, which can help to lower blood cholesterol levels and maintain healthy cells. This makes it a heart-healthy option for adding fat to your venison.
Additionally, lard has a high smoke point and is more stable than industrial cooking oils. This means that it can withstand high temperatures without breaking down and producing harmful compounds. This makes it a great option for cooking venison burgers on the grill or in a pan.
Lard is also rich in oleic acid, a fatty acid that has been linked to a decreased risk of depression and may aid in cancer prevention. This makes it a great choice for those looking to incorporate more healthy fats into their diet.
Finally, using lard in venison allows you to utilize the entire animal, nose to tail, without wasting any part of it. This is a sustainable and ethical choice for those who want to make the most of their wild game meat.
How To Mix Lard And Venison Together
To mix lard and venison together, you will need a meat grinder. Start by cutting your venison into small, long chunks and placing them in the grinder. Next, chop up your lard into small cubes that are about the same size as your venison chunks. It’s important to chill the lard in the freezer along with the venison before grinding.
Once both the venison and lard are chilled, feed them into the grinder together. This will ensure that the lard is evenly distributed throughout the ground meat mixture. It’s important to maintain a good fat and venison ratio while grinding. If you don’t use enough fat, your venison burger can turn out dry and tough.
Using lard instead of pork fat or beef tallow also has some benefits. Lard goes down smoothly in a grinder and doesn’t leave a weird greasy residue in your mouth like beef fat can. Additionally, lard adds flavor and juiciness to your venison burger.
After grinding your venison and lard together, you can add other ingredients like salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, cheese, onion, or peppers depending on your recipe. Mix everything together well before forming into patties.
Tips For Cooking With Lard-Venison Mixture
If you’re planning on using a lard-venison mixture in your cooking, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Use a 1:1 ratio of lard to venison for a good balance of flavor and fat.
2. Make sure your lard is at room temperature before mixing it with the venison. This will make it easier to combine the two ingredients.
3. When cooking with a lard-venison mixture, use a low to medium heat to prevent the fat from burning.
4. If you’re making burgers, form the patties gently and avoid overworking the meat. This will help keep the burgers juicy and tender.
5. Consider adding some seasonings or spices to the mixture to enhance the flavor. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder are all good options.
6. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of lard or flavored oils to find what works best for your recipe.
By following these tips, you can create a delicious and juicy venison dish using a lard-venison mixture.
Delicious Recipes To Try With Lard-Venison Patties
If you’re looking for some delicious recipes to try with lard-venison patties, we’ve got you covered! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Lard-Venison Burgers: Mix your ground venison with some high-quality lard, season with your favorite spices, and grill to perfection. Top with cheese and your favorite burger toppings for a delicious and juicy meal.
2. Venison Empanadas: Use your lard-venison mixture as the filling for homemade empanadas. Add some diced onions, peppers, and spices for extra flavor.
3. Venison Meatballs: Combine your ground venison with lard, breadcrumbs, egg, and spices to make flavorful meatballs. Serve over pasta or as an appetizer.
4. Venison Chili: Brown your lard-venison mixture in a pot, then add tomatoes, beans, and spices for a hearty and delicious chili.
5. Venison Sloppy Joes: Brown your lard-venison mixture in a skillet, then add tomato sauce and spices for a tasty twist on the classic sloppy joe.
These recipes are just the beginning – there are countless ways to use lard-venison patties in your cooking. Experiment with different spices and ingredients to find your perfect combination. Happy cooking!