BBQ season is now in full swing and rather than serving the usual smorgasbord of meats, why not go Swedish this summer? The unique combination of rich venison, aromatic juniper berries and distinctive Västerbottensost cheese are certain to set taste buds a-tingling.
Named the “King of cheese’s” in Sweden, Västerbottensost has been made to the same secret recipe since 1872. The cheese is typically aged for 14 months, in which time it develops a unique character with both salty and bitter tones. This distinctive cheese along with the flavourful venison – one of the nation’s most beloved meats – makes for a perfectly Swedish pairing. Västerbottensost is available in Waitrose, Ocado and Selfridges.
700 g venison (or minced beef)
50 g fried bacon
2 tsp crushed juniper berries
A pinch of coarsely ground black pepper
A little rock salt
200 ml milk
100 ml water
25 g yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp granulated sugar
4 tbsp rapeseed oil
900 ml wheat flour
100 g grated Västerbottensost
For the venison burgers:
- Finely chop the bacon and mix with the venison, roasted and crushed juniper berries and pepper.
- Divide the meat into six equal pieces and shape into regular burgers.
- Brush the burgers with oil and season with rock salt. Barbecue on a high heat, turning the burgers when they have dark griddle marks.
- Finally, add a slice of Västerbottensost and let it melt with the heat of the burger.
- Heat the milk and water to 37 °C and pour into a dough mixer. Crumble in the yeast and add salt, sugar and oil. Mix in the flour until the dough is smooth. Then add the egg and grate in the cheese.
- Work the dough in the dough mixer for about 10 minutes at the lowest speed.
- Tip the dough out of the bowl onto a clean board and knead it with 1–2 tbsp wheat flour to stop it sticking to the board.
- Divide the dough into 10–12 equal pieces and knead into round buns. Spread them on a greased baking tray 4 cm apart and leave to rise under a tea towel for 30–45 minutes.
- Bake at 220 °C in a fan oven for 10–15 minutes.