Friday, June 22, 2012

Bison Burgers w/ Cabernet Onions & Cheddar

  If you polled my friends as to what my "last meal" would consist of, I would be very concerned if a burger didn't top that list. There are times that I'm just minding my business, going about my life as usual, and all of a sudden, I'm side-lined. I can't function. The most undeniable of cravings comes over me, and I will stop at nothing until I get some BEEF. A thick, juicy burger, smothered with cheese, to be exact. Nothing matters until I sink my teeth in that burger and the grease hits my taste buds (and 9 times out of 10, dribbles down my chin). For those who have been present during these times, I'm sorry. While this recipe is obviously not beef, I have found something that comes dangerously close to satisfying my primal craving - Bison! 

Bison has popped up in grocery stores the past couple of years, and it is a wonderful substitution for beef. It's leaner, and it has a subtle difference in flavor that I really enjoy. Because it's leaner, bison should be cooked at very high heat for a short amount of time to keep as much moisture as possible. (I overcooked mine slightly with all the photographing and such for the blog - it's best a little more pink inside - but it was still very good.) This recipe includes shallots, and while they are not necessary, I would definitely encourage you to add them, because they further ensure a moist texture. And the real kicker is the addition of the onions sauteed in Cabernet Sauvignon -- DYNAMITE - and it's a great technique that you can use for a multitude of dishes!

And if you're looking for a side, my Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries are an absolutely perfect pairing! 

So, let's get this burger party started...
Makes 4 burgers.
Printable Recipe

Cabernet Onions
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1-2 Spanish onion(s), sliced
* 1/3 - 1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon (any bold red wine will do just fine!)

* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
* 1 pound ground bison
* 2 tablespoons shallots, small diced (about 1 small shallot)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional, but a nice compliment to the Cab onions)
* 4 hamburger buns
* Sliced cheddar (suggested: white or mild)
* Optional Additions: Dijon, mayo, tomato, lettuce

* Over medium-high heat, heat the oil in a skillet.
* Once the oil is heated, add the sliced onions, and sprinkle with salt.

* Saute for about 10 minutes (until tender, and starting to become golden-brown). Reduce the heat to medium, and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes.
** Make sure you are stirring the onions frequently so as they do not burn. 
* Add the wine, and cook for about 5 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed, while continuing to stir. 
* Set aside, and get to work on the bison!

* Mix together the bison, shallots, salt, and seasoning, and shape into four patties.
* On medium-high heat, heat the oil in a skillet (I used a grill pan).
* While the skillet is heating, arrange your buns on a sheet pan, place a cheddar slice on one side, and toast or broil the buns until the cheese is melted.
* Lightly sprinkle the patties with salt and pepper, and add them to the skillet when the oil is hot and sizzling. 
* Cook each side until browned, about 2 minutes per side. 
* Add the patty to your prepared bun, and top with onions. 
* I like to add a little mayo and Dijon to my cheese-less bun. Another good addition would be your favorite kind of lettuce! 

* Pour what's left of your wine, and enjoy a most satisfying burger...

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine.

Printable Recipe


  1. I love homemade burgers, especially bison. Unfortunately, it's not that easy to get our hands on it. It's been a few years since my husband's gone hunting. The burgers look delis!

  2. These homemade burgers look so succulent and delicious. My husband would love them too!

  3. Oh yummm! Will def try your recipe soon!

  4. Hi Leah, I just found your blog last week and have been reading past posts. I really enjoy the content and the comments you have left on my blog. I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. It's much deserved; have a great day! -

  5. I am obsessed with burgers...I sometimes get those cravings too where that's all I can focus on until I get it. I make onions like this with balsamic vinegar but using the wine..brilliant!!! def trying this trick soon :)

  6. Wow, that looks delish. Would love it if you link it to
    Piquant Potluck

  7. My husband loves bison, so I know that he would love the burger, especially with the cabernet onions, and cheese. Now, we just have to find some bison:)

    1. Hope you do!! And if you like my blog content, I hope you'll become a follower!

  8. I'm loving your recipes and now a follower. Can't wait for more. I'm also a food blogger, feel free to visit some time. :)