Except that's not true, there was no Bison in the burgers, though there was supposed to be. I specifically wanted to use the bison meat we had in the freezer so I went online and found this Bon Appetit recipe. It wasn't until Mr. L went to cook said recipe that I realized I'd pulled out the pound of wild boar meat instead*. No matter, the burgers still came out good.
One of the other reasons I picked this recipe to try was because of the Cabernet Onions. I'm finding that Mr. L and I rarely finish a whole bottle of wine with dinner these days (dang that trying to be healthy and watch portions thing) and cooking with leftover wine has become a necessity. These onions sounded wonderful and they were. In fact, bison meat or not, this is actually just a normal burger, but kicked up a notch because of the great wined onions.
The photo that Bon Appetit shows for this burger is a bit misleading. The onions on the burger barely register a tint of pink. As you can see, my onions definitely look like they have been cooking in wine. The cheese on the Bon App photo also was not melted onto the burger bun as the recipe states. Clearly it was artfully draped over the burger and slightly melted to bend it a bit. If you follow directions, I bet your burger turns out more like my photo. If it turns out like the magazine, you should be a food stylist. Just sayin'.
I admit to needing a bit more condiments on my burger. There may have been mayo added. A bit more mustard. And I know there were some heirloom tomatoes floating around at the time the burgers were being put together but there is no photographic proof they existed.
I still think the addition of some bacon might have done wonders with this recipe too. You can find the recipe here.
BISON (WILD BOAR) BURGERS WITH CABERNET ONIONS AND WISCONSIN CHEDDAR
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups sliced onions (about 2)
3/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine
1 pound ground bison (buffalo)
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
4 organic hamburger buns
6 ounces sliced Wisconsin white cheddar cheese
1 small head of escarole leaves separated
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and saute until tender and golden brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue to saute until very tender and well browned, about 15 minutes longer. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. DO AHEAD - Can be made 3 days ahead. Cool, cover and chill.
Preheat broiler. Gently mix meat and next 3 ingredients in large bowl. Shape into four 1/2-inch-thick patties. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper; add to skillet. Cook until well browned, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare.
Open buns and arrange, cut side up, on rimmed baking sheet. Place cheese slices on bun tops. Broil until cheese melts and bottom halves are lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Spread bottom halves with mustard. Top each with a few escarole leaves, then burger. Spoon onions atop burgers, dividing equally. Cover with bun tops; press lightly. Serves 4.
NOTE: Yeah, wild boar instead of bison. Will have to make this with bison some day. Might have also added a pat of butter to the boar to make it moist while cooking.
NOTE: We used brioche buns from the bakery. They were not organic.
NOTE: The white cheddar was not from Wisconsin but it was organic.
NOTE: The onions took twice as long to brown and twice as long for the liquid to evaporate during cooking than the recipe specified.
NOTE: Any leftover Cabernet Onions go really well on steaks or in omelets.
*We found packages of wild boar, bison and other interesting type meats at our local Sprouts Farmers Market grocery store.