Venison Jucy Lucy Recipe

A staple of Minnesota, Jucy Lucys (also known as Juicy Lucys) are a simple way to transform ground meat into an elevated burger-eating experience.

So get your venison out of the freezer and let’s make a Wisconsin twist on a classic.

Venison Jucy Lucy Recipe

  • 2 pounds of ground venison
  • 1/2 pound of thick-cut bacon
  • 2 Tbsps unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsps of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 36 pickle chips

Step 1: Chill venison and bacon, then run it through the coarse setting on your meat grinder. Then run the mixture back through on a finer setting. After the second round, be sure to give the meat a mix to ensure the bacon and venison become thoroughly combined.

Step 2: Place butter and onions in a pan over medium-low heat. Add the sugar and stir occasionally.

Step 3: Place a second pan over medium heat and add canola oil.

Step 4: Shape meat into 3-ounce balls and then, using wax paper, smash each ball into quarter-inch-thick patties.

Step 5: Place 1/6 of the cheese in the middle of one patty and then cover with another patty, sealing the edges to keep the cheese in the middle when the burger is cooking. Repeat until you have used every patty.

Step 6: Place patties in the pan with the canola oil. Sprinkle the top side with pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, sprinkling pepper on the other side after flipping. Repeat until all patties are cooked, tenting the cooked burgers on a plate with aluminum foil.

Step 7: Put the patties on the buns. Top with onions and pickles.

Tips and substitutions

Tradition dictates that you use American cheese. But I prefer the tang of sharp cheddar. For a spicy version, use pepper jack cheese and swap the pickles for jalapenos.

If you feel the need, you can sprinkle the patties with salt. But I find the bacon adds plenty of salty sensation.

Cooking the burgers in butter will provide some additional flavor. But butter has a relatively low smoke point and I feel that prevents me from cooking at the temperature I want to cook at. Canola or vegetable oil will not only prevent the patties from sticking, with will give your burger a nice crust on the outside.

If you are cooking in batches, keep the remaining raw patties in the fridge. This makes them much easier to work with.

Feel free to toast the buns with some butter to help the bottom bun maintain its integrity. But I prefer the softer buns myself.

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