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Loco Moco is a popular Hawaiian dish that traditionally consists of steamed white rice, topped with a juicy hamburger, brown gravy and a fried egg. In this version of the Hawaiian comfort food classic we are pairing sweet and spicy to create an extremely flavorful venison burger that is smothered in a rich brown gravy starring the Hen of the woods.
I was introduced to the Loco Moco one morning many years ago in Maui before heading out to hike the Haleakala National Park. This hearty stick to your bones breakfast was a perfect meal to fuel our hike of the aeolian cinder desert as well as the subalpine shrublands in search of native forest birds and endemic plants.
This meal has since become one of our favorites and serves as the perfect late morning hunt camp breakfast as it is easy to prepare and is versatile in its ability to pair well with almost all types of game meat that you are fortunate enough to harvest.
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Venison Loco MocoCourse: Wild Recipes
- Venison Patty
1 1/2 lbs ground venison
1/2 lb bacon (ends) chopped
3 tbsp chili infused honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp fresh ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 tbsp tamari
- Hunter Gravy
1 1/2 cups beef or venison stock
1 tbsp salted butter
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 small sweet onion (sliced)
6-8 oz Maitake (Hen of the woods) mushrooms (rough chopped)
1/4 tsp salt & pepper
- Rice and Eggs
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups white sticky rice (uncooked)
2 cups water
3 green onion shoots (sliced)
- Start preparing your rice by rinsing it in cool water to remove any surface starches. Add your rice and 2 cups of water to your rice cooker and press start/cook. You can make your rice ahead of time as your venison patties will likely be prepped and cooked before your rice is ready serve.
- Mix all of your venison patty ingredients (except the tamari) in a bowl and gently form them into 4 equal sized patties. For this recipe we are using Nectar of the Gods which is a Chili infused honey produced locally in Port Perry, Ontario from Hurt Berry Farms. This wildflower honey is paired with Korean Chili threads and Habanero peppers and makes for a wonderfully sweet and spicy burger patty.
- Heat a lightly greased cast iron skillet over medium heat and add all 4 patties. Sear them for 5 minutes and lightly brush with tamari before flipping and cooking them for another 5 minutes. Brush with tamari again and place the burgers on a cooking sheet and let them rest.
- Note that your cook times may vary depending on the thickness of your burger. Vension is best server medium rare, or an internal temperature of 135°F-140°F.
- Wipe your cast iron skillet of any excess juices, add your salted butter and let melt. Over medium-high heat cook your onions until translucent (5 minutes) and then add in your mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over your onions and mushrooms and stir for 1 minute. Add your beef or venison broth whisking often and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a separate pan heat 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat and crack your eggs into the pan. Fry them for 4-5 minutes until the yolks are cooked all the way through.
- Using a small bowl or cake mold add 1/2 cup of cooked rice and pack down with your rice spoon. Gently place the rice on a plate and top with a venison patty. Spoon a generous amount of gravy over the patty, top with an egg and garnish with sliced green onions.