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Deer steak burger with green peppercorn sauce

Serves 4

Ask your butcher to add about 25 per cent  of minced beef fat into the minced deer meat you order, otherwise when you come to make the deer patties, they tend to cook up a bit too dry.

Ideally mince from a single cut such as shoulder works the best, but, as deer is not as common or as popular as other meats, you may need to go with what cuts your butcher has to hand.

500g coarsely-minced deer with 25 per  cent beef fat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A little vegetable or corn oil

For the sauce

4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
A good knob of butter
2tsp flour
1tsp tomato purée
100ml red wine
50ml red wine vinegar
350-400ml beef stock
2tsp redcurrant jelly
1tbsp fresh or canned green peppercorns

Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan and gently cook the shallots for 2-3 minutes until lightly coloured. Add the flour and tomato purée and stir well over a low heat for a minute.

Gradually add the red wine and vinegar to the mix, stirring to avoid lumps forming, and then slowly add the beef stock and redcurrant jelly. Continue to give it a good whisk to remove any lumps.

Bring the sauce to the boil and simmer very gently for about 20-25 minutes, giving the occasional whisk, until the sauce has reduced by about two-thirds and thickened.

Add the peppercorns and re-season if necessary; then keep warm.

Meanwhile, mould the minced deer  into 4 patties about 1-1½cm thick. Heat  a ribbed griddle, barbecue or heavy  frying pan, brush with a little oil and cook the chopped steaks for about 3-4 minutes on each side, keeping them nice and pink.

Transfer the burgers to warmed plates, spoon the green peppercorn sauce over them and serve.

The burgers are best cooked on a barbecue or griddle