Well you successfully harvested an elk this year. Now what? It’s time to make yourself some tasty burger meat to use anytime a recipe calls for hamburger. Some swear by adding suet, others love it completely natural and lean. Either way, you’re taking advantage of one of the healthiest meats on earth.
Chill everything that touches meat. This helps to keep the meat cold, and also helps to keep meat from sticking to the equipment.
Cut meat into chunks that will fit into your Weston grinder. Use semi frozen cuts of venison. This makes it much easier to slice as the meat stays rigid. We’ve found it’s easier to lightly freeze meat right after butchering than it is to semi-defrost meat after it’s been frozen. When you partially defrost, the outside of the meat can become soft and tougher to hold onto and cut.
OPTIONAL: Mix in fatty content. Here’s where everyone disagrees. Some like to leave it completely natural, maintaing the Elk flavor and all of the lean nutritional content. Other’s like to mix in pork suet, bacon, or other fatty meats to help bind the burger together. We chose to use organic, locally sourced pork suet and grind it in at the same time as the venison. This helps ensure a good mixture. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
Coarse Grind First. If you have a super powerful grinder, you may be able to get by going straight to the fine grind. Otherwise, you’ll need to do a coarse ground first, followed by a fine grind. Keep Fingers Clear!
Package it up. Either use good old fashioned butcher paper, or like us, fire up the vacuum sealer and ensure no frost hits your meat. Using a vacuum sealer also ensures that there are no messes in the refridgerator when the meat is thawing out.
Label your packages. Be sure to use the type of meat and year to ensure that you don’t accidentally leave a package of elk meat from 10 years ago in your freezer.