Port Eliot 2 - Bringing The A-Game

Hello there. Welcome to the second of this week’s Port Eliot-inspired recipes.

There were plenty of stalls at the festival selling tasty-looking things, but I had my eye on Got Game right from the beginning. We ate their “Duke” burger on Saturday whilst sheltering from a short-lived shower and it was delicious. This is my attempt at a recreation.

venison burger

The Got Game menu description is as follows: “Wild Cornish venison burger, fresh spiced pear, goats cheese, rocket, brioche.”

I used quince instead of pear. It’s a fairly classic pairing for venison but I really only changed things because I bought rather too many of them the other day. They’re lying around on my kitchen table being all fragrant and everything but also going a bit brown so need using up. 

My burgers were made from venison steaks that I “minced” by whacking repeatedly with a massive knife then slicing finely. But if you could find ready-minced stuff I’m sure it would be lovely and save you a job.

Venison is very lean meat so I added a bit of streaky bacon to up the fat content and keep it juicy. I also put a little bit of mayonnaise on the bun, along with a dab of some truffle “pesto” I had in the fridge - a two-for-one moisture/indulgence combo I was pretty pleased with.

 Serving suggestion....

Serving suggestion....

 I do not know what this is but it was pretty.

I do not know what this is but it was pretty.

Venison Burgers With Goats Cheese, Quince and Rocket (makes 2)


  • 200g venison steak
  • 4 rashers streaky bacon

For the Quince

  • 1 quince
  • 2tsp sugar
  • 1tbsp cider vinegar
  • ½tsp Dijon mustard
  • pinch chilli flakes

To Serve

  • 2 rounds of goats cheese (creamy but not too mild)
  • 2 brioche buns
  • handful of rocket
  • 2tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2tsp truffle pesto


  1. First prepare the quince. Peel, core and chop the fruit into 1cm chunks. Put them in a pan with the sugar, vinegar and chilli flakes and just cover with water. Simmer for 40 minutes or so until the quince is tender and the water evaporated (but top up if it looks dry or as if it might burn). Add the mustard, season to taste and cook for another few minutes then take off the heat and set aside until needed.
  2. Mince the venison by hand or in a mincer. Do likewise with the bacon. Season with salt (only a pinch) and pepper (several grinds). Mix by hand and shape into two patties.
  3. Set a pan or griddle to a medium-high heat and add some oil. Cook the burgers for approximately four minutes on each side. (This leaves them a little pink in the middle. If you like them well done then turn down the heat slightly so they don’t burn and give them another couple of minutes each side. You risk them being a bit dry though.)
  4. Once the burgers have been flipped place a round of goats cheese on the cooked side to melt slightly.
  5. Spread both halves of your buns with the truffle pesto and mayonnaise.
  6. When the burgers are done, let them rest for a few minutes. To serve place a burger on the bottom half of the bun, goats cheese up. Top with a tablespoon of the quince, half the rocket and finish with the bun top.
venison burger
venison burger
venison burger
venison burger
venison burger

Ifs And Ands

  • The original spiced pear was great and takes less cooking than quince. Or you could try a spoonful of redcurrant jelly, another traditional accompaniment for game.
  • Swap the goats cheese for blue.
  • If you were going all-out, a couple of crispy bacon rashers would be a nice addition.
  • Come winter, if you wanted to make a heartier meal, I think this would be delicious with celeriac chips - just peel a celeriac and chop it into chip shapes or wedges, toss with olive oil and salt and roast at 200C/gas mark 6 for about 40 minutes.