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Deer, Beer, & Bacon Buns

D'Artagnan | Yield: 12 buns
Tender venison, smoky bacon, and a beer-enriched sauce make a tasty filling for buttery baked buns. We liken them to our version of steak & ale pie, only totally portable and perfect for a tailgate or party.
Venison, Beer, and Bacon Buns | D'Artagnan

Ingredients

FOR THE BUNS

  • 400 grams all-purpose flour
  • 200 grams bread flour
  • 1 (7 grams) packet instant dry yeast
  • 40 grams sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 300 grams lukewarm water
  • 100 grams Black Truffle Butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite spice blend (optional)

FOR THE FILLING

Preparation

  1. Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine both flours, yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix well. With the mixer on low, add water. Mix until just combined – dough will be slightly dry and shaggy. Rest for 15 minutes. With the mixer on medium-low (kitchen aid speed 3), add butter in batches. Mix until butter is thoroughly incorporated and dough comes together and is springy, about 7 minutes. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into equal 12 pieces and round each piece into a smooth ball. Place rolls a few inches apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Cover the buns and let them rise till they've expanded nicely, about 60-75 minutes.
  3. While the dough is rising, make the filling: In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook bacon until fat renders and the bacon is just cooked through. Add the shallot and sauté until translucent and soft. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and shallot, set aside. Leave the rendered bacon fat in the pan and return to medium-high heat. Once the pan is back up to temp, add the venison. Brown on both sides. Remove the venison, adding to bacon/shallot mixture. Return the pan to medium-high heat. Carefully pour in beer, using a spatula to scrape up all of the browned bits. Cook the beer until the alcohol burns off, about 5 minutes. Stir in demi-glace and continue cooking until mixture reduces to a syrup. Remove from heat, stir in truffle butter and thyme. Add the venison/bacon/shallot mixture, tossing to coat in the sauce. Taste for seasoning and season with salt and/or pepper, if desired. Allow to cool.
  4. After the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Gently flatten a dough ball. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center and gently gather the sides, pinching the dough together to encase the filling completely. Place the bun, pinched side down on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Repeat until all buns are filled, leave a few inches of space in between each one.
  6. Brush each bun with cream and sprinkle with spice blend, if using. Bake buns till they're a light, golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. Cool slightly on a wire rack before and serving.