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ground venison- your preferred type/% for added fat?

philsanchez76

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May 20, 2019
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TN
For years I used 3-4lb bags of "bacon ends/pieces" per 50lbs of venison for a good lean mix.
A few years ago I mixed venison and wild pig 50/50 and absolutely love it!
Wild pig meat is "fattier/greasier" even without out the visible fat so it works well for burger.
X2 on this
 

elk yinzer

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Oct 23, 2017
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State College, PA
I want to know how to do this. I think gyros are one my family's favorite foods.
https://www.seriouseats.com/greek-american-lamb-gyros-recipe
That's the baseline recipe I used when I learned how to make it. I don't really follow the recipe anymore. Essentially though all you're doing is making a sausage so those basic concepts apply. I make it 50/50 with venison and pork butt, you don't want to try it without some fat. It would be interesting to use lamb fat sometime.

I salt 1.75% kosher salt by weight as that's what I've found I like best in most sausages. I add about 1 clove of garlic and about 1/4 of an onion per pound, and spice it with black pepper, oregano, and marjoram. Stuff it in loaf pans, trying to avoid air pockets. I let it rest overnight as I would any sausage then bake in oven until internal temp hits 150 degrees. Then when it's cool I divide each loaf into 2-4 portions. At this point I vac seal the portions for later of course leaving some out for dinner that week.

When it's time to make gyros I thaw the portions out, slice them thin, and either pan fry or broil until nice and crisp. Serve with all the typically gyro accoutrements and don't forget a few french fries to make it Pittsburgh style. Try it, it's legit.

We're actually having them for dinner tonight, and I am getting exceited just thinking about it. I have to make the pita dough soon. You gotta go with the fresh homemade pitas, so much better. At hunting camp though I usually just go store-bought.

Here's the pita recipe:
https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/232719/chef-johns-pita-bread/
 

mike7tcu

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May 27, 2020
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I typically use pork or pork trim because I can’t find beef tallow. Where are you guys getting it? Straight from a butcher?
 

will4554

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Oct 29, 2018
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516
I make A LOT of breakfast sausage, 2 complete deer last season minus loins and straps. Also made another 20 or so pounds from the other 2 we killed. I never add any pork or beef. I cook it with olive oil and have no complaints.
 

thedutchtouch

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Oct 22, 2020
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680
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Maryland
I was able to find Smithfield pork back fat (vacuum packaged, around 2 dollars per lb) in the grocery store (Giant) and used that for fat content for this round after filleting off the skin layer struck out at other grocery stores with butchers, need to find a good butcher shop, they are few and far between (and dwindling). Happy to see such variety, time to experiment. My first deer wasn't the hugest and I separated/kept the shoulders for steaks/jerky cuts, so only ground about 10 lbs this time. Looking forward to trying them and testing some more. Didn't ask up front, but coarse vs fine bring and # grinds would be helpful too, I ground my sausage twice but hamburger only once this time.
 

thedutchtouch

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Ughhhhh I found out the hard way that I must have accidentally added salt by the tablespoon when it was calling for teaspoons or something. Somehow these are way oversalted. Time to find a chili recipe or something to hide the salt. Dang it I'm disappointed but oh well all the more reason to get back out in the woods
 

2Sloe

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Feb 2, 2021
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Virginia Beach VA
I make A LOT of breakfast sausage, 2 complete deer last season minus loins and straps. Also made another 20 or so pounds from the other 2 we killed. I never add any pork or beef. I cook it with olive oil and have no complaints.
I’m the same. Used to have a guy in AR that made the absolute best jerky and link sausage, but he got old and retired. took a whole deer to a place in VA to make me breakfast sausage, after I spent 2 hours in the garage cleaning all the silver out. Wasn’t fit to eat. They overground it and turned it into paste. It was like hockey pucks when you cooked it. Even tried to turn it into “beef sticks”, it was still terrible. Ended up having to just get rid of it.
 

elk yinzer

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Oct 23, 2017
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State College, PA
Ughhhhh I found out the hard way that I must have accidentally added salt by the tablespoon when it was calling for teaspoons or something. Somehow these are way oversalted. Time to find a chili recipe or something to hide the salt. Dang it I'm disappointed but oh well all the more reason to get back out in the woods
Get a good scale, salt should always be weighed in any food that cannot be seasoned to taste. Volume of salt can vary greatly depending which brand you are using. I believe for the same volume morton kosher is around 1/2 as salty as table salt. So don't trust any recipe that specifies volume, especially in things that you cannot really taste teste like sausages.

Once you get calibrated to using weight its so easy. Like I said above I do most of my sausages to 1.75% so weigh your meat, multiply by .0175, and that's exactly how much salt you need. That's on the lower end for sausages so experiment and see what your taste buds say.

It's even easier in brining liquids because the metric system makes too much sense for us to adopt. A liter of water weighs 1000 grams. A common brine I use for fish and chicken is 3.5% which approximates sea water. So for every liter of water use 35 grams of salt, easy peasy.

If cooking interests you read Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. It's one of the best cooking books ever written and it doesn't have focus on recipes but rather technique.
 
Last edited:

wyetterp

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Jan 2, 2019
Messages
121
Location
LowCountry, SC
I don't add any fat to ground burger until I use it to cook then add it myself. For spaghetti
or taco's or anything ground like that, I use bacon grease that every real southern person
keeps in the fridge. at all times.

If I'm grilling burgers I make butter burgers. I melt a stick of butter & pour that & whatever
bbq rub I like at the time, in the ground & mix before making the patties. . My favorite is
Oakridge venison rub. Cook to about medium well & it makes for the juiciest grilled burgers.
 

Jagger0502

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Oct 26, 2020
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167
My wife and I actually did a blind taste test last year on our ground burgers.

30/70 pork fat/venison
30/70 pork butt/venison
30/70 beef fat/venison

for us we preferred the pork butt the best, then the straight pork fat and the beef trailed way behind. I am sure everyone would have their preference and a blind test is a great way to figure it out. My dad preferred the beef fat over both the pork butt and pork fat.
 
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