Summer Bison Burgers

Have you ever tried bison? How about another exotic or game meat? Sometimes stepping out of your culinary comfort zone has a big pay out and these burgers were that for me. If you’re looking for something a little different to grill up this Summer- maybe Dad would love these for Father’s Day, or how about for that Canada Day BBQ?- these won’t disappoint. I love that bison is similar to beef, so it’s not too unfamiliar for those less adventurous, but the meat itself is amazing and these beauties contain no binding (no egg, breadcrumbs, etc). Just good, simple, delicious ingredients. I originally made these as sliders as part of my menu for Will’s surprise 30+1 birthday last month, but wanted to re- create them in full form to share on OHP since they blew away my expectations (read more about the menu at the end of this post). The bison I used for this recipe is from one of my favourite stores that I’ve shopped at for years, Heritage Meats, and after an amazing experience serving up an exotic meats menu for Will’s party, I teamed up with them to recreate and share the recipe. You’ll never look at a beef burger the same way again. Promise.

Ingredients

2 lb ground buffalo/ bison 

2 medium yellow onions

1 bulb + 4 cloves of garlic

Aged white cheddar cheese

Pretzel buns (or your favourite burger bun)

10 mushrooms

 2 cups arugula 

5 large russet potatoes

4 cups organic beef broth

1 tsp organic corn starch

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash the russet potatoes and slice into large fries. Toss in a bowl with some olive oil and salt and pepper until evenly coated. Shake onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until golden brown/ slightly charred (approx 45 minutes to one hour). Turn the fries after 1/2 an hour in the oven.

2. Slice the top off the bulb of garlic and remove any excess outer layers, making sure it maintains it’s shape. Place on a piece of tin foil and drizzle with olive oil. Roast the garlic for approx 45 minutes to 1 hour, until golden brown and soft. If you have room in your oven, place it on another rack while the fries cook, otherwise roast the garlic separately ahead of time.

2. While the fries are cooking, finely dice one of the onions and crush the cloves of garlic. In a large bowl, combine onion and garlic with the ground buffalo. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix well.

3. Form the mixture into patties 1/2″ thick and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Either cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to cook or cook immediately.

4. When ready, bring your BBQ or grill to medium heat and space the patties evenly over the heat. Flip after 5- 7 minutes and grill until cooked through (approx 10- 15 minutes total at medium heat). Place some slices of the aged white cheddar on the burgers a few minutes before they’re ready if you prefer melted cheese.

5. While the burgers are cooking, heat a tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan over medium/ high heat. Slice the remaining onion and mushrooms and sauté them separately (don’t clean the pan!). Set aside until ready to build the burgers. In the same pan, heat the 4 cups of organic beef broth and add the cornstarch to thicken slightly (if desired) to make the au jus for dipping (so, SO good!). The beef broth will absorb some of the flavours left over from the onions and mushrooms and make for some tasty dipping.

5. To build the burgers, scoop some Dijon mustard and mayo onto the buns, along with some of the roasted garlic. Next add the sautéed mushrooms and onion, followed by the burger patty. Top off with slices of the aged white cheddar (if you haven’t already melted it on) and arugula. Secure the top of the bun with a bamboo skewer and serve with the fries (and au jus, if desired). Now just try going back to your regular beef burger. 😉

This is a delicious twist on a traditional beef burger and one you’ll hopefully love making throughout the year. If serving with the au jus, cutting the burgers in half once built makes dipping easier and (slightly) less messy. 

 

 

    

More about that exotic meats menu…

Last month I surprised Will with a 30+ 1 party (aka a belated 30th) and when it came time to plan the menu I knew I wanted to do something different, a little crazy even. I thought it over and ultimately decided to go with a menu that was waaay different than anything I had ever done before, something totally out of my comfort zone and experience: a menu made up of a variety of exotic meats. I know of restaurants that serve up protein that’s less common than our typical beef and chicken and I had a hunch one of my favourite stores might be able to help me plan the menu. I’ve shopped at Heritage Meats since they opened in 2003- way before kids, going gluten- free, etc- because I love their passion for food and the quality selection they offer. I called to find out what they carried and I wasn’t disappointed, ultimately deciding on a selection of five to try: crocodile, buffalo, kangaroo, boar, and camel- cooked up in different recipes and served alongside some BBQ chicken just in case our families weren’t in an adventurous mood. I didn’t play it safe, I Googled and Googled and Googled how to cook the different meats (and no one got food poisoning, yay!) and Will loved the crazy menu. This was some of the most fun I’ve had with food in a while and I couldn’t have pulled it off so calmly if it weren’t for the advice and help from a few of the staff members at Heritage Meats. 

Please note this post is not sponsored or endorsed. I have shopped at this store since it opened in 2003 and they were the first place I thought of when I decided on an exotic menu for Will’s birthday. When I originally called to ask for help narrowing down the menu, the service and help I received both over the phone prior to visiting and in- store was exceptional (and I did not mention I was a blogger to try to get ‘special attention’). This has always been my experience with the staff of this store and it led me to reach out to them to partner on this recipe. They kindly provided the buffalo and aged cheddar cheese to help me recreate the recipe I served at Will’s birthday and I whole- heartedly recommend you check them out online to learn more and pay them a visit. Whether you’re passionate about food and care about it’s quality, or seek specialty products, this store is a destination worth the drive and the staff will be the finishing touch of a great shopping experience. It’s been a pleasure shopping with them over the past 13+ years and even more so partnering with them here on OHP. Shops like this keep my love for food alive and I’m so grateful to them for their dedication to what they do.

About Heritage Meats

Located in Langley, BC, Heritage Meats specializes in gourmet, high- quality, and specialty foods including gluten- free, organic, and premium quality meats. Since opening in 2003, it’s become a destination, offering a selection of everything from deli items, pantry staples, and meat to gourmet and specialty items (including exotic meats!) hard to find in most stores. All of the meat and poultry carried in the store is non- medicated- no hormones, antibiotics, or animal by- products- and the friendly staff can help you with any questions you may have.

In addition to the exotic meats mentioned in this post, they also carry a selection of other quality meat and deli items:

– Beef (non medicated Alberta beef, dry aged for flavour and tenderness)
– Chicken (local, non medicated, air chilled)
– Pork (local, non medicated, free run)
– Sausages (made in house, no fillers, gluten free)
– Entrees (made in house by the shop’s chef, with a large selection of gluten free options)

To learn more about the store and it’s product offerings, visit the Heritage Meats website and find them on social media:

Facebook: Heritage Meats & Gourmet Specialty Foods | Twitter: @HeritageMeats

 Save this recipe for later!

BBQ Season Must Haves

Bring on BBQ season! I love the late nights and spending time with friends & family long after the sun’s gone down. When we have BBQs there’s always got to be something for the kids- a blow- up pool or sprinkler and/ or a game, good drinks for the grown ups & good music. With Father’s Day (and Summer!) right around the corner Man Crates asked me what I would include in a crate for BBQ season, so I asked the expert (my hubby) what his ‘must haves’ are when he’s manning the grill. See below for his suggestions!

King of the Grill

BBQ Must Haves:
– good tools (tongs, a flipper, skewers, a grilling wrack & a meat thermometer for starters)
– good tunes to cook to (an outdoor iPod dock = great gift idea!)
– cold drinks (beer & mojitos are favs)
– a man apron for grilling those messy, saucy meals (bonus if there’s a pouch to hold a beer!)
– drinking games (have you ever tried playing badminton after a few bevvies???)
What’s on your man’s ‘must have’ list for grilling?
May posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting

Yummy Mummy Monday: BBQ Ribs

With baby #2 just weeks away from making their debut, I’ve been getting our freezer stocked up and have been trying to pick a variety of dishes that can be popped out of the freezer and into the slow cooker. Easy peasy. These are hands- down some of the best ribs I’ve ever tasted. Ah- mazing. And before you start thinking my ego has got the better of me I’ll let you know that this is my mama- in- law’s recipe. 😉 
I love  these ribs. When I was telling one of my girl friends about this recipe, she mentioned how she would love to make them, but with a pre- teen and a hubby in the house this can be a bit of a pricey meal. If you’ve got a similar scenario where you’ve got some family members (ahem, men) that could eat half a pig in a sitting, you could pick up another cut of pork (or even some turkey or chicken) and make this as pulled pork. I’m drooling just thinking about all the delicious versions you could make with the sauce in this recipe. So on that note…

Yummy Mummy Recipe: BBQ Ribs

Ingredients:
1 rack of pork ribs (again, you could try this as a pulled pork/ chicken/ turkey recipe too)

For the Sauce
2 cups ketchup
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1 cup brown sugar (or try 1/2 cup brown sugar & 1/2 cup honey)
2 tbsp corn starch



Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut the rack into the individual ribs & pop in water.
2. Boil ribs for 45 minutes, then remove from heat & drain (this is important to help reduce the fat and make these fall- off- the- bone tender).
3. To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a large bowl or crock pot, stirring to reduce lumps.
4. Toss in ribs & coat well.
5. Bake in oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees or in a slow cooker* (low 4- 6 hours, high 2- 4 hours)
6. Serve with rice & your favourite sides.


If you want to freeze these for later, allow to cool & transfer to a freezer bag or container. You can slow cook these from frozen- just add 2 hours to the crock pot cook time- or allow to thaw first.


*To make pulled pork, etc, just pop your meat in the slow cooker and cook in the sauce from raw, but keep in mind that you may want to cut up the meat to help it cook faster and more evenly. 

Image Source: Julies Eats And Treats

 March posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting

Yummy Mummy Monday: Salmon Burgers

To celebrate the sockeye salmon run we have here in BC in late Summer, I’m featuring some delicious & nutrient- packed salmon recipes to inspire you to try this delicious fish. My hubby’s family still fishes commercially and my father- in- law gave me his recipe for salmon burgers (they’re a huge hit in the family!). A delicious meal for a hot Summer evening.
Yummy Mummy Recipe: Salmon Burgers
Ingredients:
Makes 4- 6 burgers
2 lb Fresh or canned salmon 
1 bunch kale, pureed in food processor
2 tbsp fresh dill
2 tsbp dijon mustard
1 onion, finely diced
pinch salt
1 tsp pepper
1 egg for binding (optional)
Directions:
1. Preheat bbq or grill to a medium heat. If using fresh salmon, de- bone the meat. If using canned, drain the juices.
2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients ( if using fresh salmon, you may need to use a food processor to shred the meat). Add extra seasoning to taste. 
3. Shape patties into desired size (these won’t shrink the way beef patties will)
4. Place patties on grill & cook for 5- 10 minutes (for fresh fish, make sure patties are cooked through)
Serve with your choice of fixings on a whole wheat bun ( or pick your fave gluten free option). 
I love coleslaw or tartar sauce, avocado & lettuce- I think keeping it simple with these burgers is best.

Image Source: Real Simple
August posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique

Yummy Mummy Monday: Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa

We’re due for an epic sockeye salmon run in BC this Summer. To tempt your taste buds and help you prepare for this delicious local bounty, I thought I’d toss a recipe your way that does justice to this amazing fish. It’s so versatile and a perfect candidate for the grill! Packed with nutrients, it’s delicious served hot or cold.

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa

Ingredients:
For the salmon:
1 side of salmon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp each ground coriander & cumin
2 tsp dill (for the best flavour, use several stems of fresh dill)
1/2 white onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1tsp pepper

For the avocado salsa:
1 avocado, sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 limes, juiced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped (use as much or as little as you like, to taste)
salt to taste
Optional: 1- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped

Directions:
1. Mix the ingredients for the salmon rub in a bowl; in a separate bowl whip up the avocado salsa. Refrigerate both for 30+ minutes to let flavours combine
2. Pre- heat the grill/ bbq to a medium heat
3. Rub the mix on the salmon & place on grill. Cook until light pink/ flaky
4. Serve the salmon topped with the avocado salsa

Delicious served over rice.


What is your favourite salmon recipe? Sockeye is the popular choice and perfect when you can get it fresh. Spring/ king/ chinook salmon is a less pricey option and also delish (and my favourite!).

Image Source: Laylita

August posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique