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Bushbuck Bites: The Ultimate Wild Venison Burger Recipe

Bushbuck Bites: The Ultimate Wild Venison Burger Recipe


This wild venison burger recipe is packed to the brim with flavour. Discover the trick to get your venison mince just right to form thick, juicy, delicious patties. Bushbuck ambassador Kaelah James, of Kaelah's Wild Kai Kitchen, shares her ultimate venison burger recipe, loaded with Sweet Chilli Bacon and Onion Jam and topped off with a gooey fried egg.

The Perfect Venison Pattie

Getting that perfect, juicy Venison patty isn't that hard. All you need is a bit of fat and a few flavours to make your next burger night a hit. If theres one staple we always have on hand in the freezer, its venison mince. It's super versatile and I regularly make spaghetti bolognese, lasagne, and cottage pies. Another whānau favourite is venison burgers, which are a go-to in our house year round. With venison mince, you cant cook it like regular beef mince due to it being so lean, but with a few simple tricks you'll have the tastiest, juiciest patties made from sustainable, organic and responsibly-sourced protein.


Two Golden Rules

The trick to making perfect venison patties is to add fat to the meat because it is very lean – and be sure not to overcook them. In this recipe, I use minced up fatty bacon, but you can also use cold grated butter (1/2 Tbsp per patty), which you can mix into the mince to give it that juicy texture.  However, if you already have a nice fatty mince, for example your deer had plenty of fat or you’ve added pork fat to your grind, then feel free to halve the bacon ratio or even leave it out. When it comes to cooking your venison burger there are two golden rules you must follow. The first being to not overcook the patties and the second is to let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This is really Important! I prefer my burgers to be medium rare, so a few minutes each side on a searing hot grill and letting them rest to soak in all the juices produces the perfect result. To flavour our burgers, we only want to a few flavour enhancers to let the venison shine. Just salt, pepper and garlic powder – it’s really that simple!


The Ingredients

Wild Venison Burger Patties Recipe

  • 600g venison mince, finely ground

  • 300g Minced bacon, finely ground

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp cracked pepper

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Makes 4 large patties.

Sweet Chilli Bacon and Onion Jam Recipe

  • 3 cups diced onion

  • 400g bacon, diced

  • 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

To serve: Lettuce, beetroot, cheese, fried egg, mayonnaise, brioche buns (or whatever you like to have on your burger).


The Recipe

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Wild Venison Burger Patties

  1. Using damp hands, combine venison mince, bacon mince, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a bowl and shape the mix into 4 equal sized balls.

  2. Form into round patties about one inch thick and make sure to press a dent into the middle of each patty to help them cook evenly.

  3. Heat a heavy-based pan or grill to searing hot. Pour in a few Tbsp of olive oil to coat the pan.

  4.  Add in the venison patties and cook for approximately 4-5mins on each side or until browned and done to your liking.

  5. Remove from the heat and let rest for a few minutes.


Sweet Chilli Bacon and Onion Jam

  1. In a pot, cook bacon in olive oil over medium heat until crispy.

  2. Carefully remove with slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate, leaving the bacon fat in the pot.

  3. Add the onion to the bacon fat, reducing heat to medium-low. Cook until the onions are caramelised (about 15-20 minutes), stirring often.

  4. Add in brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, chilli powder, and pieces of cooked bacon. Simmer for 7-10 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a jam.

To assemble, lightly toast the brioche buns, then add your burger toppings.

After trying many different variations of venison burgers, this is the best patty recipe I've come up with to-date and one that me and my whānau keep returning to time after time. It's one of the best ways to use venison mince to get the true, clean, juicy flavours of the venison coming through. 

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Kaelah James
Kaelah James

Kaelah James, aka Kaelah's Wild Kai Kitchen, is a New Zealand speafisher, huntress and incredible wild food cook. She's built up a following on Instagram by sharing her delicious recipes and she's now come on board as a Bushbuck ambassador and contributor to The Campfire blog. She will be sharing wild food and catch-and-cook recipes, as well as the stories behind hunting and gathering the kai. 

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