Venison Burger & La Motte Syrah

There’s something about Syrah that works beautifully with venison. Or perhaps it is the other way round! But Syrah understands the flavours that also work well with venison.

Earthy notes, a subtle smokiness, fragrant herbs and spices and the charm of fruity sweetness. Our bumper venison burger is a moreish treat that works wonderful with a glass of 2019 La Motte Syrah. The venison patty enjoys a little beef boost and is served on a delightful potato bun with aniseed and black pepper sprinkles on top to delight the Syrah. The buns are definitely worth the making if you can spare the time. (Otherwise there are of course an array of lovely buns to buy).

It is however, the chutney that brings all together. Green tomatoes and apples combine with fermented chillies, ginger, mustard seeds, cumin, raisins and another little bits and bobs, that turn this burger into a Syrah-pairing delight!


Recipe makes 6 bumper burgers

1,25 kg Springbok Leg (off the bone and trimmed)
250 g Free range Beef fat

  • Try your hand at mincing your own meat by following the steps below or ask your local butcher to help.
  • Place your mincing attachment in the freezer to make sure it is as cold as possible.
  • Cut all the meat and fat into manageable size pieces so that you don’t have to wrestle them through the mincer. Mix the meat and fat together and semi freeze the mix. This will assist in the mincing and also stop the meat and fat emulsifying when going through the machine.
  • Mince on a coarse grind, we use a 8mm plate. Allow the mince to cool for 20 minutes in the freezer and mince for a second time.
  • Form into 200 - 220 gram patties. For venison, we do a fat burger patty. Springbok absolutely loathe being overcooked so a thicker patty allows you to cook it to a medium temperature.

20 g bread flour
28 g water
60 g whole milk
120 g whole milk at 30 degrees Celsius 
10 g instant yeast
320 g bread flour
8 g fine sea salt
40 g granulated sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
50 g unsalted butter, softened
Egg Wash:
1 whole egg
Splash of whole milk

  • Aniseed and black pepper to sprinkle on top of the buns.
  • For the porridge, add all ingredients together over medium heat, and constantly whisk until it becomes a paste.
  • Prime the yeast mixture: combine milk and yeast - remember that yeast is a sensitive fellow so do not ever add it to milk higher than 30 degrees or it will straight up die. Keep in a warm area and let sit for 8 minutes.
  • In a stand mixer bowl, add the dry ingredients. Slowly add milk and yeast mixture, the porridge and combine. Let the mix homogenize. When the dough starts coming together, add the egg and egg yolk. Then increase speed to medium-low until incorporated. Gradually add butter until incorporated so that when the dough is mixed, nothing sticks to the sides.
  • Lightly grease a medium-sized bowl, gently fold and place the dough seam side down. Cover with a damp towel and leave to proof in a warm area for 60 - 90 minutes.
  • To shape, punch the dough down.
  • Flour the work surface.
  • Divide dough into six even pieces around 105 g each.
  • To shape the individual buns, gently stretch flipped side down and fold to the center. Repeat this process for the whole segment of dough, then flip upside down.
  • Rotate dough 90 degrees and pull towards you. Repeat two more times to complete rotation around the whole perimeter.
  • Place shaped dough in a rimmed sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Leave 6 cm apart.
  • Cover with a similar-sized sheet tray that is flipped so that the dough will not dry out. 
  • Let rise at room temperature for another 60  - 120 minutes or until doubled.
  • Before baking, brush with egg wash (1 whole egg plus a splash of milk), sprinkle with aniseeds and crushed black pepper.
  • Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 18 minutes or until golden brown.

1 kg onions, chopped
500 g apples, peeled, cored and chopped
500 g malt vinegar
2 Tbs fermented chillies
5 cm ginger, peeled
1 Tbs yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbs dried organum
200 g raisins
1 Tbs salt
400 g brown sugar

  • Salt the tomatoes for a few hours to remove excess water.
  • Place all the ingredients in a large pot and cook until the desired consistency is achieved. Serve with your burgers and keep the rest as a delicious accompaniment. 


  • Always butter your buns and toast them in a pan until golden, this adds another dimension.
  • Cook the burger patties until they have a lovely crust on both sides and flash through a hot oven for 4 minutes.
  • At La Motte we top the patty with a delightful slice of a matured cheese like Dalewood Huguenot and a good helping of caramelised onions before we scoop the chutney on top. You can, however, opt for only the chutney and still have the most delicious burger.
  • These bumper burgers are a meal on their own, but a proper burger begs for fries and onion rings, so we add some chunky triple-fried potato chips and large onion rings to the plate and serve with generous glasses of  2019 La Motte Syrah.!