I’ve taken a small hiatus from cooking, writing and socializing for the past two months. July and August have been a whirlwind of brutal change for me! We sold our condo and moved from the bright downtown city core to quiet suburbia. No more car alarms, helicopters, sirens, or gunshots! When you turn off the lights at night it’s DARK. No more city glow nightlight shining into your bedroom. It’s hard to sleep at night without the city noise. If you remember, my last post was a recipe for energy bars. This was mainly because I was finding I couldn’t stay awake during the day and also had an insatiable hunger… all because I am pregnant! It’s true, I’ve got a big ol’ belly that only continues to grow and as of today I’m just over 4 months pregnant.
I’m sure my blog following will quadruple now. After all, Joy the Baker’s number 3 blogger tip for boosting your following is, “get engaged, have a baby, or buy a kitten“, ha. For the past 6 weeks I’ve had a horrible cold I couldn’t shake which disabled my taste buds. Because I couldn’t smell, I couldn’t taste food either. I had zero interest in eating, cooking, photographing or blogging. I was just too tired and sick, plus we were living out of boxes for a few weeks! I seem to be on the mend now and my office is almost completely set-up. No more chaos amongst the boxes! After overcoming the occasional bout of morning sickness I have found my appetite has returned! So what do I want to eat after not tasting anything for 6 weeks, you ask? Burgers. Specifically, bison burgers. One bite and you’ll see why the bison almost became extinct: it’s delicious!!!! Bison is super flavorful and tastes beefier than beef. It also contains less than half the fat of boneless, skinless chicken! All hail bison meat!
To prep this burger couldn’t be simpler and I’ve also photographed my hand model to help you figure out what state of doneness you prefer your burg. I only use 3 ingredients for burger prep: salt, pepper, and worcestershire sauce.
Remove bison from fridge and form patties 1 hour before cook time. Letting the meat come to room temperature before cooking ensures the burgers will cook evenly throughout. I buy 3/4 lb. of bison and divide it in half for 2 fairly 3/4″ thick burgers. When you form the patties, be sure not to handle the burger meat for more than 30 seconds per burger. This will keep the meat loosely packed and it will fall apart all tender, juicy and crumbly in your mouth when you bite into it. Using your thumb, make an indention the size of a quarter in the center of each patty. The indention helps the burger not to puff up and shrink while cooking. Coat each side of the burger with the worcestershire and pepper. Do not salt the burger until you are just about to put it on the grill. Salting early will draw out the moisture in your burger and make it dry; and no one likes a dry burger.
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat; you’ll want to get a good sear with browned grill marks on each side of the burger. Time for salt! Not too much, you don’t want to salt bomb yourself! Do a small pinch of coarse sea salt (using thumb and first finger) per each side. Over medium-high heat, cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until the meat lifts away from the grill without sticking. Once flipped, I’d go a few more minutes on medium-high, and then turn the heat down to medium-low. This is when your hand test comes in… well… handy. Once you get what doneness you prefer your meat, you’ll just have to give it a prod with your finger to know when to remove it from the grill. Always let your burgers rest away from the heat for at least 5 minutes. Just to give you a sense of where we are beginning, here’s an example what raw meat feels like using your hands. Relax your hand and push on the pad below your thumb. Feel how squishy it is? That’s the same feeling raw meat has.
If you are a rare meat-eater (bless you), learn what this touch feels like, pointer finger to thumb:
For medium-rare, touch your middle finger to your thumb:
For a nice, lovely medium, touch your ring finger to your thumb:
And lastly, the way preggos everywhere are supposed to eat meat (preggos aren’t supposed to eat raw meat, harrumph), you have your well done, pinky to thumb:
We like to serve a little side tomato salad with our burgers. Our tomato potted plants did not do very well this year. I think the lack of humidity during our ultra mild summer really affected their growth. I’m not complaining, because man, did the mild weather ever make me super happy! I like to make a deconstructed Caprese salad, consisting of heirlooms, yellow pear tomatoes, English cucumbers, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, and a little reduced balsamic. Dice all the ingredients to your desired size, stir, and enjoy. Delish!
Bison Burgers with Tomato Salad Prep time: 1 hour to temper, 10 minutes to cook
- 3/4 lb bison burger meat (Whole Foods does a 90/10 mixture)
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 heirloom tomato, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 handful cherry or pear tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 English cucumber, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 handful of fresh diced mozzarella
- 4 leaves of basil, julienned
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper to taste
- Remove bison from refrigerator and form loose patties 1 hour before cook time. Allow meat to come to room temperature before cooking. When forming patties, be sure not to handle the burger meat for more than 30 seconds per burger. Using thumbs, make an indention the size of a quarter in the center of each patty. Coat each side of the burger with the worcestershire and pepper. Do not salt the burger until just before grilling.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat, using thumb and pointer finger, take a small pinch of coarse sea salt and sprinkle on each side of burgers. Over medium-high heat, cook burgers for about 4-5 minutes, or until the meat lifts away from the grill without sticking. Once flipped, go a few more minutes on medium-high, and then turn the heat down to medium-low. Use the above hand-test to determine what doneness is best.
- Let burgers rest off of heat for at least 5 minutes.
Salad Prep: Cut heirlooms, yellow pear tomatoes, English cucumbers and fresh mozzarella into bite-sized pieces. Julienne basil combine all. Drizzle with olive oil and reduced balsamic. Mix well and enjoy!