Kitchen Experiments – Bison Burgers

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I’ve heard about the virtues of bison for several years. Having spotted some of the noble beast at Costco last month, I purchased 3 pounds out of curiosity. What better test for a ground red meat than the hamburger?

Call me a believer at first bite. The flavor of bison is quite similar to beef – in other words, quite neutral. It tastes meaty, but absorbs the smoky flavor of the charcoal grill quite nice. Where it excels is in being incredibly tender and moist for a mere 10% fat content.

My famous gorgonzola onion burgers are chock full of flavor, but the tenderness of the bison really added a lot of mouth feel to the experience.

If you want a recipe, such as it is, here you go:

  • 1 oz gorgonzola crumbles per pound of meat
  • 1/2 small yellow onion or 1/2 bunch of green onions diced per pound
  • 1 egg to act as a binder
  1. Mix thoroughly by hand in a metal bowl
  2. Press patties using a hamburger press (hand-shaped patties tend to fall apart with the extra ingredients); the press I use gives 1/3 lb patties.
  3. Sear each side over direct heat, then cook over indirect heat until cooked through.

By law, bison has no antibiotics or hormones added, and the creatures are apparently not amenable to anything other than free range grazing. At Costco, I purchased the meat for around $6/lb. Comparable organic and/or grass-fed finished beef is usually at least that price, so I consider this a great deal for the taste and health benefits.

Now I wish I could find bison steaks other than via mail-order….

Have you tried bison?

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