As soon as my Maui Nui shipment arrived, I knew I needed to do something special with it, something that honored the roots and origin of this incredible meat. While I realize that axis deer are not native to Hawaii, I believe they have become an integral part of the island culture, with so many of my native Hawaiian friends hunting them, and the meat comprising such a large part of their everyday diet. These friends are raising their families and children on this wild, introduced meat, and for that reason I wanted to find a special recipe as a way to share in that history and culinary culture.
A friend introduced me to Loco Moco some years back. It is as simple as it is delicious! The recipe has a number of steps to it, since it is comprised of several different items which combine to create an incredible meal. I also managed to get my hands on some Maui Onions, which are incredibly sweet and flavorful. If you cannot get them near you, any sweet onion will work well. I also used duck eggs to finish off the plate, another delicious alternate. If you can get your hands on them, they are a bit richer than chicken eggs…but the later will certainly serve you well if not.
Give it a try and let me know your thoughts.
- 2 cups rice (I use Jasmine rice for this recipe)
- 3 1/2 cups water
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 pound ground Maui Nui Axis Venison
- 1/4 cup Maui onion – diced (any sweet onion will substitute well)
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- Fresh black pepper
- Avocado oil (canola works as well)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 cup sliced Mushrooms
- 1 Maui onion – sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic – diced
- 2 cups game or beef broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Black Pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Canola oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tbsp Butter
- Chopped Scallions for garnish
- Sesame Seeds for garnish
For the rice
- Place water and pinch of salt into a medium saucepan, on high heat, and bring to a boil.
- Add the rice, stir once and cover.
- Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
For the burgers
- Mix the venison, onions, soy sauce, and black pepper to taste in a mixing bowl.
- Form the meat into 4 patties and set place on plate, wrap plate with plastic wrap.
- Place patties in refrigerator for at least an hour to set up nicely.
- Place a cast-iron pan over high heat.
- Add a drizzle of avocado oil and set the patties in the pan.
- Cover pan with a lid (will help keep in moisture)
- Cook burgers for 3-4 minutes, until browned.
- Flip burgers and continue cooking to desired doneness (about 3 more minutes for medium-rare)
- Remove the burger, place on a plate and cover to keep them warm.
For the gravy
- Put the butter and sesame oil in pan with the meat drippings.
- Add mushrooms, onions and garlic, sauté until golden brown.
- Add the broth, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, sprinkle paprika in slowly while stirring.
- Bring to a boil and then allow to reduce for 3-4 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, mix cornstarch, and 1 tablespoons water to make slurry.
- Slowly add slurry into the gravy, stirring constantly until thickened.
- Season black pepper.
- Cover and keep warm until ready for use.
For the eggs
- Add butter to a nonstick pan on medium heat.
- Crack in the eggs and cook sunny-side up.
- Remove eggs from pan
- Place a scoop of the cooked rice on a plate.
- Put a burger on top of the rice.
- Top with the mushroom and onion Gravy
- Put an egg on top.
- Garnish with Sesame Seeds and Scallions.
BOOM!!!! ~ ENJOY Tony Caggiano