Venison Loco Moco Burger

By: Sam Kohler

The Loco Moco Burger is a delicious and unique comfort food that originates from the great state of Hawaii. Originally created in the town of Hilo, HI in 1949 as a inexpensive alternative to a burger; this dish is a personal favorite of mine as it combines the savory and umami flavors that have become staples in traditional Hawaiian cuisine. The Loco Moco is composed of four main parts: a bed of white rice, a savory patty traditionally made of beef, a delicious brown gravy to cover both the paddy and rice, and then finally a perfectly cooked fried egg that lays on top of the burger. Though this dish is simple in composition, the flavors it evokes are both complex and comforting as their roots come from a myriad of cultural influences. This interpretation of the classic Loco Moco is a way to incorporate the natural flavors of wild game meat, in particular venison, into a Hawaiian delicacy that is a perfect meal for any time of the day. 

Serving Size: 4 

Ingredients: 

Burger

  • 1 lb Gamekeeper Butchery Ground Venison
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Shoyu (Soy Sauce) 
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ Medium Yellow Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1 Tbsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • ½ Tbsp. Black Pepper
  • ¼ Cup of Japanese Panko (Optional) 
  • 1 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter (For Cooking Purposes)

Brown Gravy

  • 2 Tbsps. Unsalted Butter 
  • 8 Oz of Mushrooms (Shiitake or Baby Bella) 
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion, Thinly Sliced
  • 2 Tbsps. Ketchup 
  • 2 Cups of Beef Stock 
  • 2 Tsps. Worcestershire Sauce 
  • 4 Tsps. Shoyu (Soy Sauce) 
  • 1 Tsp. Beef Bouillon 
  • 2 Tsps. Cornstarch 
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Finely Chopped or Minced

Rice

  • 2 Cups of Dry Sushi Rice (Basmati, Jasmine, or White Rice are Fine Substitutes) 
  • Sushi Rice Seasoning (Optional)

Egg

  • 4 Eggs, Over Easy or Sunny Side Up 

Garnish 

Instructions: 

  1. Begin by placing your rice into a pot and cooking it until perfect consistency is reached. 
  2. While your rice is cooking, combine all your burger ingredients in a bowl and form them into 4 patties. Feel free to let the combination sit for 1-2 hours to let the seasoning work into the meat before you make the patties. 
  3. Take a large pan or cast-iron skillet and heat it on medium-high heat. Add your 1 Tbsp. of unsalted butter to the pan and then cook your burgers for 6-8 minutes trying to get a good sear on both sides of the burger. 
  4. Remove the burgers once a solid sear has been placed on them and then set them to the side. (It’s alright if they are not fully cooked through as you will be cooking them again later.)  
  5. Take the pan with your burger drippings and add 2 Tbsps. of unsalted butter to the pan and then add your onion slices. 
  6. Once the onions become translucent add your garlic and allow the garlic to cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  7. Next add your mushrooms and ¼ of a cup of beef stock to the pan to deglaze the rest of the drippings and bring the temperature down on the burner to medium to medium-low. 
  8. Let the mushrooms soften and then add the rest of the beef stock, beef bouillon, ketchup, shoyu, and Worcestershire sauce to the pan. Let this cook for about 5-10 minutes as the cooking liquid reduces. 
  9. Slowly mix in your cornstarch until your desired gravy thickness is reached. If you want a thinner gravy add ~1 Tsp of Cornstarch and for a thicker gravy add ~2-3 Tsp of Cornstarch. (Remember that it takes ~10 minutes for a gravy to thicken so take your time adding your cornstarch to the gravy.) 
  10. Place the venison patties back into the gravy and let them simmer for 10-15 minutes until perfect temperature is reached. (~145 degrees Fahrenheit for a burger)
  11. Once rice is done cooking, remove it from the pot and let it cool down a bit and then thoroughly mix in the sushi rice seasoning mixture into the rice. 
  12. Finally, plate the rice and add Furikake seasoning on top. Then, Add your gravy and burger to the rice. For the finishing touch, Add your fried egg to the top of the burger and garnish with green onions and enjoy!

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