After a few requests from our montanaoutdoor.com readers, and some of my own personal curiosity, I found a recipe for swan burgers online at instructables.com. This was not an easy find, as swan is apparently not a popular type of food to eat.
I ended up finding a post from a New Zealand swan hunter that had heard that swan meat was horrible and tough, but he found the opposite to be true. He had some leftover meat, and he wasn’t sure what to do with it, so he ended up experimenting with it. He liked burgers, so why not use the swan meat he had and make patties?
Here’s what he had posted:
After I had boned out the breast meat I decided to see what the meat was actually like. So I egg and crumbed a few of the tenderloins and then shallow fried them. I cooked the meat till just well done.
Swan meat is very lean there was about a quarter of a teaspoon of fat on each breast so it is important not to over cook game as it can become tough and dry.
HOW DID TASTE?- Well, those people who had been telling me it was tough and foul tasting were wrong. The Meat was very tender indeed, I think this was helped cooking over a medium heat and not over cooking the meat. Swan does however have a very gamey taste, it’s one of those tastes you either like it or you don’t.
Certainly all myths about taste and toughness have been dispelled, but with almost no recipes available I was left wondering what to do with the rest of the meat?
So, here it is. Here is his final recipe, that he claims tasted quite good. Here’s how you make Swan Meat Burgers:
- 1 swan breast (about 1lb)
- a few dashes of worcestershire sauce
- Bread crumbs
- 1 egg (optional if the meat is looking a bit dry add an egg otherwise leave it out)
You’ll also need:
- Burger buns
- Fruit chutney- like tamarillo (red egg shaped south american fruit) but peach, apple will work well.
If you have a mincer, then feed the meat and herbs through it, other wise you can make a coarse mince by chopping the breast into smaller and smaller pieces with a knife. If you do use a mincer put a slice of bread through after the meat to push any left over mince through when the bread starts to come through turn off the machine.
Add worcestershire sauce and pepper and mix.
Note I don’t add salt to patties of marinates as salt can draw moisture out of the meat instead I salt the meat just before cooking or even after cooking.
Check the consistency of the mince; when you stir it it should stick together reasonably well–if it doesn’t bind well, add an egg and a handful of bread crumbs. This will help the patties hold together during cooking.
Once you have mixed the ingredients, divide into 4 even-sized portions.
Form into balls– you can do this by cupping the meat in your hands, I like to throw the meat from hand to hand a few time to help it bind.
Squash the meat into patties.
Cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour, this stops the patties from breaking up during the cooking.
While the patties are in the fridge prepare buns, tomatoes, etc…
Cook the patties to well done, then assemble the burgers. Serve the with lettuce, tomato, dill pickle and chutney.
(Recipe and photos courtesy of instructables.com)