Venison hot dogs

Photographer: Emma
Makes 8 hot dogs

My husband has become a deer hunter and I’m not completely sure how I feel about it. Call me a hypocrite as although I don’t like the thought of a target over poor Bambi’s head, I love to eat its meat. Having a reputation as being strong and gamey, fresh venison can in actual fact be quite mellow in flavour. It’s also super-lean and when cooked medium-rare and rested well, tender and succulent. Rather than increasing our meat consumption I think Luke’s new hobby has actually caused the reverse as we now eat venison every-other-night in smaller portions than if it were beef or chicken.

Although I try to act interested in all the stories after a hunt, the real stories I enjoy are those about the ‘one that got away’ – not shooting a deer because it was pregnant, too old (and potentially a breeding stag) or too young. I wouldn’t let on but I’m secretly happy that these deer get to re-join their herd and roam free for at least another day.

We’ve had a bag of off cuts in the freezer which I’ve been meaning to make use of as I’m a firm believer in using everything from nose to tail. My friend Lizzi helped me with my flavour combination which give these dogs a serious punch in flavour. You don’t need a sausage-maker to make the hot dogs – I just make a shish-kebab and remove the skewer before serving.


400g venison mince
400g pork mince
2 heaped tbsp blackberry jam
Handful of sage, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to season

8 skewers soaked in water
Oil for frying

8 hot dog buns
8 slices Emmental cheese (or a mild cheddar)


1. Combine the venison and pork mince in a bowl. Add the jam, sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
2. Make 8 shish-kebabs with the mince and skewers. Refrigerate again until you are ready to cook.
3. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, hot plate or griddle. Once hot, cook the kebabs until the juices run clear.
4. Turn your oven onto grill.
5. Slice the hot dog buns in half. Place kebabs into buns and then remove the skewers.
6. Top with cheese and then place under the grill until the cheese lightly melts.
7. Add watercress and jalepenos and serve immediately.