Got elk? Try these. They were voted, "The Best Burger I've Ever Had" by my husband, and let no elk meat be wasted, he not only ate an entire burger of his own, he finished off what the kids didn't eat. Even I, more of a chicken eater, loved these burgers. I have found that when cooking with red meat, less is more as far as seasoning, so the patties themselves are very simple. It's the toppings that pack the punch in the flavor department but thankfully without overpowering the flavor of the elk. It's the perfect combination of flavors, the melty cheese, the onion rings, the tomato, pickles and of course don't forget the bacon! Yum. I just ate lunch and I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. I am so thankful to have a few pounds of elk in the freezer thanks to Jeremiah's hunting buddy, The Great White Hunter as Jeremiah calls him, AKA, Sean. They went hunting together this fall and Sean got one and Jeremiah didn't so Sean was kind enough to give us a portion of his. This is the first I have fixed of it and I am so happy I did!
FOR THE PATTIES
- 2 lbs ground elk
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
FOR THE ONION RINGS
- 1 whole medium yellow or sweet onion, sliced into thick rounds and separated
- ¾ cups whole wheat flour
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- peanut oil for frying
- cheddar cheese, sliced (we prefer white sharp Tillamook cheddar but you use your favorite)
- bacon, cooked
- tomato slices
- sliced dill pickles
- dijon mustard
FOR THE ONION RINGS
- Heat the oil in a deep pan or pot.
- Then make the batter for the onions by mixing together the flour and milk. You want a fairly thick concoction so it sticks to the onions.
- Dip the onion slices into the batter to coat and then carefully drop into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown and then carefully remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain.
- Once the onions are all fried heat up your grill to medium-high (or if you are like me and don’t enjoy grilling outside in 20˚ weather, heat up the griddle….
FOR THE BURGERS
- Combine the meat with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and the olive oil, elk has virtually no fat in it so if you want the patties to stay together while you grill them then you have to add some fat.
- Once the oil and salt and pepper are mixed in, shape into 5-6 small, even balls and then shape each into a patty. I usually press the ball between my palms and then use my thumbs to shape the edges so it is round.
- Once you have the patties shaped you are ready to cook. Place the patties on the grill and cook until the side that is down is nice and brown and has some grill marks, about 4-5 minutes. Flip over and cook the other side about another 4-5 minutes, for the last couple minutes put the cheese on and let it melt.
- Serve with toasted whole wheat buns with the toppings of your choice or the above mentioned ones.
TO MAKE THIS A FREEZER MEAL
- Mix together and shape the patties and then place them on a baking sheet. Freeze them on the baking sheet and then remove them to a freezer bag once frozen.
- You can also toss the buns into the freezer so you know you have them when you decide to fix them.
- To thaw, remove from the freezer until thawed, about 3-4 hours, and then cook as instructed above.