Venison Kebabs: Grill Your Ground Meat

This week, I got a new grill, one that you will be hearing about in the coming weeks. As I get ready to break in the new firebox, I’ve been thinking about all my grilling recipes. One of my go-to techniques is worth sharing with you again—ground venison kebabs. So many times hunters get stuck in a rut grilling their ground venison in patty form, and while I like a great char-burger as much as the next guy, there are better ways.

I first learned about ground meat kebabs on a trip to Turkey a couple years ago, and the recipe I’m sharing here again is based on those. However, don’t think you have to stick to it. Ground meat can take any flavor profile you want—from Italian (think meatballs) to Tex-Mex to Middle Eastern and beyond. The only limiting factor is keeping your meat firm enough to shape onto a skewer. It’s easy if you use the fattest skewers you can find, or in a pinch, use Popsicle sticks. It also helps to pop the meat in the freezer for 30 minutes or so before you form your kebabs.

My point is, as the weather gets warmer and grilling season nears, break out of the round-burger box.

Venison Adana Kebaps

Ingredients
1 lb. ground venison
1 egg
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped fine
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt

Directions
1. Add the ingredients to a large bowl and, using your hands, mix everything together quickly, but thoroughly. Cover and place the bowl in the refrigerator for about an hour to let the flavors combine and mixture set.
2. Remove the meat mix from the refrigerator and pull off a piece about the size of an egg. Form this tightly and evenly along the length of a flat skewer. (Try to find the widest, flattest skewers you can.) And if you don't have a flat skewer, you can form elongated patties, sort of like a flattened sausage. Repeat with the remaining mix.
3. Place the skewers over a medium-hot fire and grill, turning often, until the outside is a bit charred and the inside is cooked through. Serve with warm flat bread and zerzavat (recipe below).

Zerzavat

Ingredients
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 tsp. sumac
1/4 cup parsley, chopped fine
1/2 tsp. salt
4 lemon wedges

Directions
Mix first four ingredients together, and serve immediately with lemon wedges.