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Game On: Engineering the Bison Burger
It’s game time for this weeks blog. And by game time, I mean bison. How many engineering consulting firms can blog about that? Bison is a leaner and healthier alternative to the standard ground beef. While you tend to lose a little of that fat flavor, you get to taste the meat itself without it being too gamey like some of the other wild meats. So, we will start our dish today with two very important ingredients found this time of the year here at Glew Engineering Consulting; 75 degrees weather and a slight breeze. As long as you don’t burn the burgers, you really can’t go wrong starting from there.
For today’s menu, I kept it rather simple and went with a bison burger topped with fresh apple coleslaw and served with fresh fruit. This menu is a healthier alternative to the fast food place down the street.
Bison Burgers with Apple Coleslaw:
- 1 lb ground bison meat
- Honey Whole Wheat Buns
- ½ head of cabbage shredded
- 1 large carrot shredded
- 1 Granny Smith apple fine julienne sliced
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
Divide the bison into four equal parts or ¼ lb each, and press into ½ to ¾ inch thick patties. Salt and pepper both sides. Next, fire up the grill and heat with the lid closed until the thermal temperature reaches 500 degrees.
While you are waiting for the grill to reach temperature, you can start prepping the slaw. In a medium bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots and apples. In another bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, dry mustard and vinegar until thoroughly combined. Add the wet mixture to the cabbage and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed or if desired. Rest the slaw in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Get the bison burgers on the grill and cook with the lid closed to keep the temperature up. Since the bison is not as fatty as normal ground beef used for burgers, the risk of flare-ups is very low. The meat will tend to cook more like a steak, so make sure that you do not overcook. As with leaner cuts of meat, you want to pull them off the grill a little early and let them rest. This will allow them to come up to the proper temperature as well as hold in more of the juices. For these patties, about 5 minutes per side yielded burgers with an internal temperature of about 160 degrees. I like to toss the buns on the grill at this point to get a nice toast on them. Once you have all your parts for the burger, it’s time to assemble
I constructed this burger simply by placing the bison burger on the lower bun and topping with a large spoonful of the coleslaw mixture. Since this was going on a burger, I drained the excess liquid from the coleslaw to keep it dry and crisp. Top it with the other half of the bun and serve. I also served slices of tomato, lettuce and Dijon mustard along side, for those that wanted to go a little more traditional with their burger. It’s always nice to offer options when available. As a side dish, I went with diced fresh fruit consisting of pineapple, cantaloupe, honey dew melon and red seedless grapes. All in all, it was a simple meal taken to a slightly higher level.
As with all of our cooking blogs, I welcome comments or variations on what you think might make this recipe just that much better.