Foodie Friday: Memorial Day Weekend Grillfest With Venison, Ribs and More

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, the holiday kickoff, the big shebang after school gets out and we can get things going for a couple of months of laid-back grilling and relaxing.

By Alan Clemons, Managing Editor

Venison Bleu Cheese Burgers are great!

Venison Bleu Cheese Burgers are great!

It’s easy to throw some venison burgers on the grill, open a few bags of chips and have a cooler of cold beverages. Kids are playing, the yard’s mowed, mama’s happy and all is good. If you have a FoodSaver and put up some vension roasts, backstraps, ground meat or other cuts in the freezer, it’s a good time to get them out.

Modification is a longtime staple of cooks, from backyard to professional, and I wanted to throw a couple of cool recipes your way so you could try them.

One is from Adam Rappoport, editor-in-chief of Bon Appetit, which I enjoy reading, for a Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce, which looks great. There’s no fancy marinades, no injections, no idiotic drowning with Eye-talian Dressing. It’s just steak, seasoned with salt and pepper, and grilled. Then comes a little chimichurri for a kick. But there’s no slathering, drowning, coating, rubbing or whatever. Just good meat and a nice post-grill sauce. Give it a try.

Ribs are another top pick for Memorial Day grilling. Pick up a few packs of nice-looking ribs and clean them up. I like to remove the silver skin on the inside of the ribs. This recipe for “Dr Pepper Ribs” apparently is popular. I have not tried this specific one (but plan to), yet as a kid I remember my mother using Coca-Cola with roasts for flavor and to help tenderize the meat a bit. Give this recipe a try for Dr Pepper Ribs and let us know what you think about it.

Pork is delish on the grill, too, whether it’s chops, a loin or a slow-cooking shoulder. From, here are 25 grilled pork recipes to check out for the Memorial Day weekend and summer. A few have a twist, such as Jerk Pork Skewers and Filipino Barbecue, but they look great.

Two of our favorites for summer holidays or just a weekend grillfest are these Venison Bleu Cheese Burgers from wild game chef Scott Leysath. If you don’t like bleu cheese (it’s good mixed with a burger), my suggestion is to try some pepper jack. Get a brick of pepper jack, cut it into small cubes — like, the size of a pencil eraser, a small cut — and mix those into the venison. Or, just lay a slice of cheese over the burger on the grill before it’s done.


Here’s Leysath’s great burger recipe:

Venison Bleu Cheese Burger

1 1/2 pounds ground venison
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cups mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 tbsp bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
4 burger buns
4 lettuce leaves
4 slices tomato

Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Stir in mushrooms and sauté until soft. Transfer to a medium bowl and allow to cool.

Add ground venison, blue cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and mix well with your hands to blend. Form into 4 large patties. Grill, pan-fry or broil patties until browned. Add to bun with lettuce, tomato and your choice of other condiments.

Wow! Sounds great. Here are some side dishes to go along with those burgers!


Emily Anderson of Colorado shared a great recipe for Corn Salsa with us last year and it’s worth revisiting because it’s good!

Emily loves to hunt, fish and get outdoors. Check out her really cool site at to keep up with what’s happening in the Rockies and elsewhere.

Corn Salsa

1 can canned corn
1/2 red onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 orange or yellow pepper
1 bunch cilantro
Sea salt
White balsamic vinegar (1-2 Tablespoons)
Olive oil (1-2 Tablespoons)
1 lime
Serrano or jalapeno pepper

Drain corn and dump in large mixing bowl.  Add 1/2 cup chopped onion. Chop peppers into small bite size pieces.  Chop or shred with fingers the desired amount of cilantro, and add to bowl.  Season with sea salt (1 tsp or so).  Add balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Squeeze 1/2 lime over mixture.  Finely chop serrano or jalapeno pepper and mix thoroughly into salsa.


Stacy Harris digs into many topics in her latest book, Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living, to provide you with a comprehensive tutorial for growing and harvesting natural, organic foods in and around the home. Harris lives in Alabama and with her family enjoys sustainable living. They hunt, fish, have a huge garden, grow herbs and fruits, have chickens and honeybees, can and freeze items, and try to do all of it with the best knowledge possible. In this fantastic new book, Harris also offers 80 mouth-watering recipes along with tips on preservation and storage. This is a cool book and definitely one you should take a look at now.

Additionally … if you pre-order the book now you get a FREE DOWNLOAD of the book. It’s on sale and you get two-for-one with the download and hard copy. What a fantastic deal! But don’t wait around. CLICK HERE TO BUY IT NOW