Venison Burger with Blue Cheese and Crispy Shallots

Serves 4

650g venison mince

5 tbsp double cream

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

½  tbsp flat leaved parsley, finely chopped

½ tbsp chives, finely chopped

4  juniper berries, crushed

110g blue cheese

12 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into rings

3 tbsp olive oil

Place the venison in a large bowl and season well.  Gently mix in the cream, garlic, herbs and juniper berries until well combined.  Shape the mixture into 4 patties.  Make an indentation in the top of each one.  Divide the cheese into 4 portions and shape each one into a ball.  Push the cheese into the centre of each burger, and cover well with the meat so that the cheese is sealed in.

Chill for an hour.  Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan and add the shallots.  Cook over a medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes, until crispy.  Remove from the pan and drain well on kitchen paper.

Preheat a heavy ridged griddle pan until very hot.  Add the remaining olive oil, and sear the burgers to seal in the juices.  Turn down the heat and cook for 2 – 3 minutes on each side, so that the cheese melts in the middle, and the burgers are medium rare.

Serve the burgers on lightly toasted bread rolls with the crispy shallots on top.

Copyright Michael Powell, 17 Cow Lane, Tealby, Lincs. LN8 3YB 01673 838040. michaelpowell.com

Image copyright Michael Powell.