Monday, June 11, 2012

Bison Burgers with Red Wine Glazed Onions

There are many things that I love about living in DC.  The culture, the food, the beautiful it.  I've been here six years and don't plan on leaving any time soon.  However, living in a city has its drawbacks.

A couple of years ago, Brett and I bought a place right in the best area, between U Street and Dupont.  We live in a great building in a condo that we love.  But...I don't love the fact that I have no outdoor space.  Particularly as summer rolls its way in, I wish more than anything I had a grill or an outdoor space so I could cook and eat outdoors without resorting to begging my friends to allow me to come and use their outdoor spaces (okay okay begging may be putting it harshly), or going to an restaurant with an outdoor seating area.

But this past Memorial Day weekend, Brett and I drove up to my parents' place in Connecticut to say goodbye to my little sister who is over now in Tanzania to work with the Peace Corps for the next few years (sob, sad). My parents, unlike us, have LOTS of outdoors space aaaand a grill!  So I thought that one night, I'd give my mom, the consummate cook, a break from cooking and would prepare dinner.

I wanted to take advantage of the grill and it was a beautiful night.  So I decided to make a dinner I've made before, bison burgers. Leaner than ground beef, bison is an excellent alternative for burgers.  The only trick is that they really don't need as much cooking time as ground beef.

The red wine glazed onions are a great complement to the bison burgers.  It brings an earthiness to the sweet onions.  The process of making them is essentially like making caramelized onions, just with a reduction at the end.  They are well worth the extra time and were a big hit at the house.

I paired the burgers with leftover potato salad and coleslaw from our big BBQ before.  But serve with whatever you like best!

Note: Use about 1/3 lb bison meat for each burger.  This ingredients mix serves about 6 people, but adjust as you need.


2 lb ground bison (can be found at most grocery stores)
2 eggs
1 large shallot
1 T worcestershire sauce
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t salt

Red Wine Glazed Onions
1 large sweet onion
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
1/2 T honey
1 C red wine

Little buddy enjoyed the new kitchen.

Heat up the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan.

Slice the onion thinly.

Add the onions to the butter and olive oil.

After about 5 minutes, add the honey and a sprinkling of salt.

Stir occasionally.

While the onions caramelize, mince the shallot.

After the onions have been sauteeing for about 20 minutes, add the wine.  Continue to make the burgers, but still stir the onions.

Combine the bison meat, egg, shallots, worcestershire sauce, and season with about 1/2 T salt and pepper.

Form the burgers into about 1/3lb patties.  Don't pack too tight.  Put in the fridge for at least 20 minutes so that they firm.

Once the onions have absorbed the wine, reduce the heat to low.

Fire up the grill!  Or alternatively, you could cook these on a stovetop grill pan or in a sautee pan.

Look!  Grill!

Heat up the buns and grill the burgers.  The burgers should be grilled about 4 minutes on each side.  You want to keep these much more rare than normal burgers or they will get tough.

Some people wanted some cheese on their burger.  But daaamn they look good.

Serve with some dijon mustard and the red wine glazed onions on whole wheat buns.  Enjoy!

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