Have you ever had a burger so good that you couldn't set it down? Yeah? This is one of those burgers. The secrets to a perfect venison mushroom swiss burger are a little bit of time and a whole lotta cheese. Perfectly caramelized mushrooms and onions are an exercise in patience but once you have them paired with a deliciously cheesy, juicy burger, you'll want to make them over and over again.
Why This Recipe Works:
There's something special about a classic mushroom Swiss burger. The flavors aren't hidden with a bunch of different toppings. The caramelized mushrooms and onions combined with melted Swiss cheese and a juicy venison burger are a true thing of beauty. A little ketchup (or your favorite tangy condiment) adds some acidity to break up the richness but is not necessary. Simple ingredients truly do make amazing food!
- Ground Venison: Any ground meat can be used in place of venison - elk, moose, antelope, beef, turkey, etc.
- Onions: Any type of onion you use will caramelize. Use whatever you prefer!
- Mushrooms: Cremini mushrooms are great for caramelizing but you can use white mushrooms or get creative and try some other gourmet mushrooms!
- Swiss Cheese: Swiss cheese is the obvious choice for a mushroom Swiss burger but if you're not a fan, you can totally use any melty cheese you prefer.
- Pellet Grill: If you don't have a pellet grill, you can use whatever grill you normally use.
- Cast Iron Pan: Cast iron pans are great for caramelizing onions because they hold their heat well and distribute it evenly. But, you can use any other skillet as well.
- Grill Pan or Small Sheet Pan: A grill pan lined with foil is a great way to ensure you don't lose any toppings or cheese to the depths of your grill when melting the cheese. You can also use a small sheet pan instead. Don't want to stick your sheet pan on the grill? Melt the cheese in the oven instead!
Step by Step Instructions:
How To Make Cheese-Stuffed Venison Burgers:
What's better than a burger with cheese on top? A burger with cheese on top AND inside. Incorporating cheese into venison burgers helps keep them juicy and adds great flavor too! See below for how to make them.
Pro Tip: Keep your burger mix cold when forming patties. If it has warmed up while mixing, place it back in the fridge for 30 minutes before making your patties. This helps keep the patties intact and prevents them from falling apart.
How to Caramelize Mushrooms and Onions:
I know what you're thinking. You've heard of caramelized onions, but caramelized mushrooms? Yes, they're a thing! If you take your mushrooms just past the point of being sauteed but before the point of burning, they develop a wonderfully deep, sweet flavor. Mixed with caramelized mushrooms, they're a perfect topping for your juicy venison burger. Read below to learn how to make them!
Pro Tip: Slicing onions root to tip (julienned) keeps the vegetable fibers more intact which helps keep the pieces whole when caramelizing them and prevents them from turning to mush.
Putting it All Together:
Alright, you have some delicious-looking venison burger patties and a whole mess of caramelized mushrooms and onions. It looks like a lot but I promise it's the perfect amount for 4 amazing burgers. Now comes the dilemma of how to keep it all together without those goodies you worked so hard on falling off your burger! Here's where a little ingenuity (a foil-lined grill pan or small sheet pan) and finesse (gently piling on the toppings and covering them in a gooey melted cheese blanket) go a long way.
Thaw ground venison in a paper towel-lined bowl to soak up excess liquid. Removing the excess liquid gives the meat a more sticky texture that makes it easier to form a patty.
Venison does not need fat ground in to be delicious and juicy. But, if you prefer the flavor of venison with fat ground in, that is more than fine!
One of the best "bang for your buck" (pun intended) seasonings you can use with ground venison is Worcestershire sauce. It doesn't take much and it adds so much flavor to your burgers!
Other Recipes to Try:
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Venison Mushroom Swiss Burgers
- cast iron skillet
- pellet grill (or regular grill)
- flat grill pan or small sheet pan
Caramelized Mushrooms and Onions:
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 4 cups onions, julienned (cut from root to tip)
- 2 tablespoon butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 lb ground venison (or elk, moose, antelope, beef, etc.)
- 2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 slices Swiss cheese, cut into ¼" squares
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- 4 brioche hamburger buns
- mayo (optional)
- ketchup (optional)
Caramelized Mushrooms and Onions:
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.
- Add butter and swirl to coat the pan. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently for 20-30 minutes or until they are a light golden brown color but not fully caramelized. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
- Turn heat up to medium-high and add mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms release their liquid and reabsorb it, stirring frequently. The timing varies on the freshness of your mushrooms but should take about 7-10 minutes.
- Add onions back to pan and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook on medium-low heat for 25-30 minutes or until mushrooms and onions are a deep golden brown color but not burned. Stir frequently to keep from burning.
- Preheat grill to 350°F.
- To a medium bowl, add ground meat, worcestershire sauce, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Mix with your hands until spices are well-combined with the meat. Add in diced pieces of Swiss cheese and gently incorporate them into the meat.
- Divide meat into 4 equal portions. Roll each piece of meat into a ball, then form into a patty by squishing it between the palms of your hands. Patties should be about 4.5-5" in diameter. Using your thumb, place a small dimple in the middle of each patty.
- If using a pellet grill, open the flame broiler lever to cook directly over the flames. Carefully place burger patties on grill and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove to a foil-lined flat grill pan or small sheet pan.
- Top burgers with mushrooms and onions, then top with cheese. You can save some of the mushrooms and onions out to place on top of the melted cheese too, if desired.
- Place pan back on grill and cook for 4-5 minutes, using indirect heat (not directly over the flame).
- Remove pan from grill when cheese is melted.
- Spread mayo on buns if desired, then add burgers to the bottom bun. Drizzle with ketchup if desired and place top half of bun on top. Enjoy!
- Thaw ground venison in a paper towel-lined bowl to soak up extra liquid. This helps remove off flavors and helps the burgers stick together better.
- Slicing onions root to tip (julienned) keeps the vegetable fibers more intact which helps keep the pieces whole when caramelizing them and prevents them from turning to mush.
- Caramelized mushrooms and onions can be made ahead of time and reheated when ready to use.
- Keep your burger mix cold when forming patties. If it has warmed up while mixing, place it back in the fridge for 30 minutes before making your patties. This helps keep the patties intact and prevents them from falling apart.
- The Swiss cheese in the burger patties can melt and make a mess of your grill. Cover the bottom of the grill with foil if you are concerned about a mess.