One of the joys of being a cyclist is the amount of food one can eat. And the privilege of consuming a burger is one of pure bliss. As challenging as it may be to convince a vegetarian to partake in meat eating, the resulting happiness is worth the effort.
For a pre 60 mile ride meal, the mtbhick test kitchen decided upon Bison Burgers. Bison is lean, delicious and filling, and pairs well with balsamic caramelized onions and arugula for this, the Best Bison Burger.
The Burger paired with oven roasted Haricots Verts (green beans) and oven roasted Potatoes to create a meal worthy of a Queen. This recipe is for 2 and uses about 3/4 pound Ground Bison. You may choose to make larger or smaller burgers to feed fewer or more people, but the basic premise is the same– Arugula, Bison Meat, Cheese, Balsamic Onions on a rustic bread.
How it’s done, Bison Burger for 2 (if you’re making the sides, potatoes and green beans, start on those before the burger):
3/4 – 1 lb Bison (grass fed, antibiotic free , hormone free), ground
A few Fresh Sage Leaves, minced (if you have Sage in your garden, pick the tiniest leaves available)
Redmond’s Real Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
1 tablespoon salted Butter
1/2 Red Onion
2 ounces New Zealand Cheddar (white cheddar, hormone free, grass fed) more if you want more cheese
2 Pain Rustique buns (Trader Joe’s makes delicious Pain Rustique, or you may find these at your local artisan baker)
2 cups fresh Arugula
1. Prep barbeque. Place small cast iron skillet on low heat. Once warm, add Butter.
2. Place ground Bison into a glass or ceramic bowl, sprinkle with Real Salt, Ground Pepper, minced Sage and a drop or two of Olive Oil. Mix spices into meat and set aside.
3. Slice Red Onion into extremely thin slices, keeping the rings intact. Place Red Onion into warm skillet in the melted butter. Caramelize the onions. This should take some time, and you may need to raise the heat to medium-low or medium in order to brown the edges. Once caramelized (brown in color, some edges may be slightly crispy) add Balsamic Vinegar. Add enough to soak into all of the onions and lower heat and let them absorb and caramelize as you prepare the rest of the Bison Burger.
4. Using a cheese knife, thinly slice Cheddar cheese, 1 ounce per Burger (or more if you’re doing an extra long ride tomorrow!).
5. Time to cook the Burgers. Place cut bread face down on grill. Place on grill and cook for 3-4 minutes on first side. The Burgers should be red and juicy when you flip. After flipping to second side, place cheese on top of Burger and cook for 3-4 minutes more. Do not overcook, the Burgers should be medium rare at most. Bread should be just warmed if only slightly toasted.
6. Build the Burgers. Place one handful of Arugula on the bottom bun, place Burger on top of Arugula, scoop onions onto Burger and place the top bun. Violà! The perfect Bison Burger! Eat before the drool drips from your chin!
Oven Roasted Potatoes
1 Potato per person
1/2 Orange Bell Pepper
1 Shallot, chopped
Redmond’s Real Salt
Dice potatoes, Bell Peppers and chop Shallots. Place in Pyrex Pie Plate or similar baking dish and toss in Olive Oil to coat. Cook in oven on 400F degrees. Start these up to 30 minutes before the Bison recipe to get nice crisp potatoes.
Oven Roasted Haricots Verts
1 handful of Green Beans or Trader Joe’s Haricots Verts per person
2 Cloves thinly sliced garlic
Redmond’s Real Salt
Place all ingredients in a Pyrex or similar cooking dish. Can be cooked at same time as Potatoes. Cook for 15 minutes for crunchy nearly raw beans, or for up to 30 minutes for softer beans with brown roasted edges.
Once all is cooked, Burger is assembled and table is set, place a small amount of beans and potatoes on the plate. The Burger is the star of the show, so don’t pile on too many vegetables to take away from the main event.
If you choose the Pain Rustique bread, you can smash the burger into a flat eating friendly size. Otherwise you may use a knife and fork to cut the burger into manageable pieces.
Eat and enjoy!