There are very few things that everyone can agree on anymore, case in point, politics. However, burgers may be the exception to the rule. Virtually everyone, from one coast to the other, loves burgers. They are versatile, can be flavored with almost anything, made with different meat varieties and are crowd pleasers. Scott offers a delicious spin of his own that combines ground elk with fresh ground feral hog for phenomenal burgers. Scott says that he doesn’t use just any old hog. Old boars don’t taste nearly as good as young sows so when he’s hunting he always opts to take a younger and smaller sow over an older and larger boar. The big boys may be impressive to look at, but when it comes to flavor they leave much to be desired. Taking the shoulders from a young sow, he grinds the hog with the elk to add a little extra fat. When it comes to the fat, wild game is usually lean and the same is true for feral hogs. They won’t add as much fat as a domestic hog will, however they will add some fat into your burger giving you more moisture and more flavor. Anytime you cook pork you should be mindful of cooking it to a safe temperature and this is no different, so Scott recommends taking them to an internal temperature of 150 degrees. You can grind large amounts, make patties, freeze them and then thaw them out when you’re ready to cook. If that’s the route you want to take, Scott preseasons his patties with flavors and burger seasonings from Hi Mountain Seasonings and then stores the patties in GameSaver bags. When thawing them out, Scott says it’s important to pat the patties dry before grilling them for the best results. Instead of going the frozen route, Scott says he prefers a fresher take. Instead he freezes large pieces of hind quarter and when he wants to make burgers he thaws those out and grinds them fresh achieving a mixture of 75% elk, 25% pork shoulder.
As hunters and anglers, we understand the value of game animals for the meat they provide us. The outdoor community is made up of very generous people and our connection to the food we eat makes it simple to understand what a gift meat can be to those who are in need. There are a lot of people across the country that are struggling with hunger right now. Scott highlights Hunt. Fish. Feed., a program developed by Sportsman Channel that uses wild game and fish donated by hunters and anglers across the country to feed the hungry. Scott says he has been involved with this effort for 12 years now where they travel, prepare and serve thousands of meals at shelters across the country. He’s just coming off of a recent Hunt. Fish. Feed. event in Virginia where they served deer, elk and bison burgers at a mission. Scott says the single largest source of protein for shelters in Virginia is deer donated by hunters. While some may balk at the idea of wild game being served, Scott says it’s hard to imagine anything healthier than fresh wild game. Any town or city of a sizeable population has probably seen homelessness on the rise, it’s especially apparent in large cities. Scott says that the situation is much more complex than people just not wanting to work. The stories that you hear working in this environment, Scott says, are surprising. The majority of the people are good people, much like the large number of homeless veterans, that just need a hand and a good meal. With exploding populations of wild hogs, states with plentiful deer populations and more, these wild animals are great resources to use to feed not only ourselves, but those who are hungry, too. Scott says that Virginia is a success story and there is no reason that programs like that can’t be implemented everywhere. He encourages outdoorsmen and women to look into local shelters, churches and more to find out if there is a way you can donate your processed wild game for a great cause.
Finally, Scott will talk about the return of “Dead Meat” to Sportsman Channel in July where they are breaking down boundaries and redefining what is or isn’t edible. Scott talks about hunting and eating wild cows in Hawaii, diving for snakeheads, stingrays, lionfish and more.
Be sure to catch “The Sporting Chef”, Sundays at 1:00 pm ET on Sportsman Channel. You can also find previous episodes and seasons with the MyOutdoorTV app. In addition, be sure to check out the Hunt.Fish.Feed. program, a national campaign created by Sportsman Channel to educate the public about providing natural resources to help combat nationwide hunger.
Eat Well & Share the Bounty of the Harvest,