Venison Slider-Kebabs. Build with Tater Tot and a Pickle for Prime Redneck Party Fare
Updated: Aug 8, 2021
(With a "Cooking with Colton" video) Any time a person butchers a deer, a sizable portion of the meat is added to the “grinding” pile. Some meat is ground right away and stored as 100% venison. Or, you might add a little pork content to boost the fat content since venison is an incredibly lean red meat. We tend to add anywhere from 25% to 50% depending on the final intended product. A 75/25 venison/pork ratio is usually good for making burgers and in many sausages.
Our neighbor Jennifer Josselyn made this venison sliders/kebabs dish for a holiday party and it was a tasty hit. Besides being flavorful, it’s also easy to create. In fact, we worked with her son Colton to shoot a video of him making the same dish. There is really no wrong way to approach this when it comes to using favored seasonings, types of cheese, mushrooms (white, portabella, shitake, etc.) or dipping sauces. The one sacrosanct ingredient is the inestimable Tater Tot…due to the complexity of its flavor profile, texture, blended nuances and sheer redneckiness.
Here’s what you do:
* 2 pounds ground meat, 75% venison, 25% pork (makes nearly 3 dozen sliders)
* 2 heaping Tbsp. of your favorite burger seasoning (We used Hi Mountain Zesty Western Burger Seasoning)
* 1 large shallot, finely diced (or about ¼ cup diced onion)
* ½ to ¾ cup breadcrumbs
* 2 eggs
* About 3 dozen Tater Tots, cooked according to package directions (more if you’re prone to nibbling while the sliders cook)
* Cheese slices cut into approximately 2-inch squares; your choice of type (We used cheddar and provolone)
* Your favorite toppings (we used mushrooms and dill pickles, but peppers, a slice of onion, bacon - all would be good)
* 3 dozen extra-long toothpicks
* Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
* Gently mix the meat, seasonings, diced shallot, breadcrumbs and eggs with your hands until well blended. Roll into little balls and lightly press to form fat patties, about 2 inches in diameter.
* Bake on a parchment paper lined cookie pan for about 15 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Vegetable toppings can be baked at the same time if desired. We lightly brushed mushroom caps with olive oil and sprinkled a little Hi Mountain on them.
* Top each cooked slider with a piece of cheese and place under the broiler for a minute or so until the cheese starts to melt.
* Assemble the kebabs on toothpicks, first threading the toppings, then the cheese topped sliders and finally a tater tot. Serve with ketchup, mustard or your favorite dipping sauce.
Assuming you already have a ground venison/pork mixture, the entire preparation time isn’t much past 30 minutes.