Nilgai meat has a wonderful flavor—rich, lean, and juicy. It makes for wonderful hamburgers, especially when paired with smoky and spicy flavors. You can experiment with other flavorings to mix into the ground meat—smoked Adobo sauce, minced shallots, Parmesan cheese, smoked paprika and even cinnamon are elements worth mixing in. Use thick, smoked strips of bacon to impart extra fat and smokiness into the meat.
If you don't have nilgai handy, the recipe below will also work well with domestic pork, beef, turkey and veal. You can prepare the burgers in advance and put them in the refrigerator or freeze them in airtight plastic bags for future use. It’s a great way to prep meals in advance and have a quick weeknight dinner at your fingertips, or a whole array of delicious burgers ready.
1. Preheat the oven 450 degrees F. 2. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the oil and bacon. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until uniform in consistency. 3. Form the ground meat into thick burgers. 4. Wrap the circumference of each burger with a thick strip of bacon so that the ends overlap slightly and secure them together with a toothpick. 5. Heat the grape seed oil in a large heavy bottomed sauté pan. 6. Sear the burger on all sides, then transfer to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes. 7. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving with condiments, lettuce, tomato, a hamburger bun or any other fixings.