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 every day diet. These friends are raising their families and children on this wild, delicious 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, and it is as simple as it is delicious!
The recipe has a number of steps to it, since it consists 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 as they are a bit richer than chicken eggs. If you can’t get your hands on them, chicken eggs will work just fine.
Give it a try and let me know your thoughts...
For the rice:
2 cups rice (I use Jasmine for this recipe)
3 1/2 cups water
Pinch of sea salt
For the burgers:
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)
For the gravy:
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
For the eggs:
- 4 large eggs (duck eggs if available)
1 tbsp butter
Chopped scallions for garnish
- Sesame seeds for garnish
Make 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.
- Mix the venison, onions, soy sauce and black pepper to taste in a mixing bowl.
- Form the meat into 4 patties, place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap.
- Place patties in the 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.
- Put the butter and sesame oil in a 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 tablespoon 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.
- 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 & onion gravy
- Put an egg on top.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.