Country Venison Burger with Maple Compound Butter, Grilled Sliced Apples and Cheddar Cheese

Pairs well with:

Sauvignon Blanc

With hints of passion fruit, melon, and citrus, this wine beckons you to kick back and find a perfect porch swing.


Maple Compound Butter
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ tablespoon chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Garlic Paste
6 heads of garlic
1 tablespoon, plus 4 tablespoons of Colavita olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Grilled Apple Slices
3 Crispen Apples or other green apples
Colavita olive oil for brushing
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 ½ pounds ground venison
1 pound ground pork butt
2 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for brushing grill
6 hard rolls
6 thick extra-sharp Cheddar cheese slices



 Preheat a gas grill to medium high heat or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with cover.  To make the compound butter, combine the unsalted butter, parsley, salt, pepper, and maple syrup in a small bowl. Mix well with a fork. Place onto a piece of plastic wrap, approximately 12” x 12”. Using the wrap, roll the compound butter into a 1 ½” wide log; then twist the ends, fold under and place in a refrigerator. (This may be done a day ahead of time.)  To make the garlic paste, first roast the garlic. To roast the garlic, cut of the top 1/3 of each head (reserve the top pieces for another use). Place two sheets of aluminum foil, approximately 12” x 12”, on top of each other. Place all three heads of garlic onto the foil, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Gather up the four ends of the foil and loosely crunch together. Place on the grill and roast for ¾ of an hour; remove from grill and cool approximately 15-20 minutes. Into a small bowl, squeeze the garlic from the heads; coarsely smash with a fork, then add 4 tablespoons of oil, dash of salt and pepper and combine. Paste should be chucky. (Garlic paste may be made a day ahead of time.)  To grill the apples: First, core the apples. Do not peel. Slice apples, cross-wise, into approximately 1/2” slices. Use the center 9 or 10 slices for grilling. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, until golden brown on both sides, approximately 3 minutes per side, until tender. Remove from grill and keep warm on a plate; cover loosely with aluminum foil.  To make the patties: Combine the venison and pork butt, but handle the meat mixture as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Divide the meat mixture into 6 equal portions and form portions into patties to fit the rolls. Using all of the salt, sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the patties.  Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill approximately 5-7 minutes. Turn the patties and continue to grill until done to preference, about 5 minutes longer for medium. During last 2 minutes of grilling, place cheese on top of patties and close grill to allow to melt. Remove patties to upper rack, off heat, to keep warm. Place rolls, cut side down, onto the outer edges of grill rack to toast lightly.  To assemble the burgers, place 1/6th of the garlic paste over the cut side of the roll top. On each roll bottom, place the patty, top with 1/6 slice of compound butter and one slice of grilled apple. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.