We are getting excited about the annual Brawl of the Wild game, one of the oldest rivalries in college football history. More importantly, it is a Montana tradition that is over a century old. In my time on this earth, the Griz/Cat game has always coincided with the home stretch of Montana's big game hunting season. For my family, the annual football game tends to cut into at least one of our days in the field. Just like the tradition of hunting on Thanksgiving, we may hunt a little in the morning, only to race home early in the day to make food and watch football.

With any luck, some families should have been successful by this portion of the hunting season. That means a full freezer filled with freshly wrapped wild game.

thapanee srisawat via unsplash.com
thapanee srisawat via unsplash.com

Just recently I was at a local wild game processing location. As I waited in line to place my order for how I wanted my elk cut and wrapped, I overheard what other successful hunters wanted their harvest transformed into. 8 out of 10 of those successful hunters chose to have their deer or elk turned into streaks and hamburgers. As someone raised on wild game, hamburger and steak is the most versatile meat you can have in the freezer. So version burgers were definitely a staple in the household.

pablo merchan via unsplash.com
pablo merchan via unsplash.com

After years of eating handmade version patties, I soon branched out to its smaller cousin, "The Slider."

The "Slider" is perfect for football parties because it is everything that is good about a classic burger. Just in a smaller package. Plus, you can stretch your 1-2 pound package of burger further, feeding more people.

What you will need:

  • a cookie sheet
  • a griddle or frying pan
  • knife
  • Wax paper
  • Hawaiian Sweet Rolls or simple dinner rolls
  • 1-2 lbs of venison burger
  • minced onion (optional)
  • cheese (we prefer American for this)
  • seasoning (salt and pepper is fine, we REALLY like Alpine Touch)

How to make your slider:

Start by mixing your venison burger with 1 tbs of minced onion and seasoning (1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, or 2 tsp Alpine Touch). Once combined, place it onto the cookie sheet. Cover the cookie sheet with wax paper and spread out the meat evenly on the bottom of the cookie sheet. When meat is an even thickness, place the cookie sheet into the freezer or fridge to firm up for 5 minutes.

Remove from fridge and remove wax paper. Using a dinner roll for reference, take a knife and cut a line into the meat approximately the width of the roll. Do the same on the opposite side of the cookie sheet. Cut lines in the meat until you develop uniform squares. Carefully remove each square using a spatula and set it aside. Heat the griddle or frying pan to medium-high heat. Cook each patty square for approximately 1 minute. Flip the patty and add cheese made to fit the patty. Cover and cook for 1 minute. When the cheese is melted, remove the patty and place it on a roll. Top with your favorite burger toppings.

There you have it. Venison "Sliders" for your Brawl of the Wild viewing party.

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