Venison Burgers

with fried kale and balsamic mayonnaise in a brioche bun

First to make the brioche, which can be made well in advance and best of all the night before to be proved over night.

In a stand mixer bowl, add the flour, yeast and sugar, give it a mix through then add the eggs, milk and finally salt.

Return the bowl to the stand mixer, with the dough hook attached, mix slowly until the ingredients seem combined then turn up the speed to medium for roughly 8 minutes. Soften the butter and add to the mixture, continuing to mix for a further 5 minutes over the bowl in cling film and place in a fridge for at least 7 hours. You can cut this time down by not putting it in the fridge and allowing around 2 hours but you will be sacrificing quality!

Grease a large flat baking tray with a little butter and a dusting of flour. Remove the dough from the fridge and place on a work surface. Knock the air out of the dough and fold it over a couple of times. Split the dough into 6 equal balls and place them with space between each. Lightly rub rapeseed oil over 1 or 2 large pieces of cling and cover the dough balls; setting aside to 2nd prove for 2 1/2 hours, by which time they should have more than doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 190°C with an old roasting tin or similar sitting in the bottom.

When the buns look risen enough, remove the cling film. Make an egg wash with an egg and a splash of milk whisked together and then gently brush the tops of the buns.

Place the tray in the oven along with half a cup of water thrown over the tin in the bottom. Bake for 20-25 minutes. When removed, place on a cooling wire.

For the burger, finely dice the onion and pulse the bacon rashers a few times in a food processor. Take a mixing bowl and add all the ingredients for the burger and mix throughly. Allowing the mixture to sit in the fridge for and hour to firm up makes it handle a little better when making the meat patty.

Preheat a large frying pan to a medium heat with a generous glug of rapeseed oil.

Split the mixture into 6 and make them into smooth balls. Press the ball of meat down in the frying pan for your desired thickness. It is a good idea to keep the size of your buns in mind at this point. Fry for 4-5 minutes on each side, more if they are very think.

For the fried kale, fry the kale with a little rapeseed oil and a sprinkle of salt on a medium heat for roughly 4 minutes or until it has softened slightly.

For the balsamic glaze mayonnaise, simply add the mayonnaise and the balsamic glaze together in a bowl and stir. Of course you can make both of these from scratch prior if you want to go the extra mile.

Toast the buns and then stack them up!


I’m not sure whether I was really in the mood for a burger or just really hungry but I have to say that eating this was one of the most enjoyable sittings that I have had for a while. I have frozen 2/3’s of the mixture, which I did not use so at least I have it to look forward to at some point in time soon.

Trumpets have been blown…!

It seems to be an ever growing trend of pop-up burger places appearing across London, where they are taking on a more homemade rustic approach with a more imaginative selection of meats and combinations with a strong emphasis on the quality of meat and presentation, somewhat different to what I remember only a few years ago.

Exmoor, Devon
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