I'm not a huge fan of red meat. I stopped eating it sometime in middle school and my mom graciously cooked alternate food for me when we had it for dinner. I don't understand the appeal of a good steak (I know, I know) and although I used to think ground beef was revolting, I've been trying to be better at including it (or ground turkey) in meals to change things up a bit. Since I don't really favor beef, we stumbled on a recipe for these buffalo burgers a couple of years ago, and we made sliders for a dinner party. They were great, and I'm not sure why we waited so long to make them again. Much better than ground beef.
Why is buffalo better than beef? Here are some facts about these sweet giants: It tastes better (my personal fact), it is lighter, it's 70 - 90% more lean than ground beef, they are naturally resistant to disease and don't require antibiotics or growth hormones, they are grass fed, they are healthy and don't poo in their drinking water (cows and sheep are less intelligent), it has 50% lower cholesterol than beef, and it's higher in protein and amino acids.
If that doesn't make you want to go out and find some buffalo, maybe this will... The burgers are amazing with the Red Slaw. It is vinegar based and the hint of caraway seed compliments rye bread if you choose this as your bun. The Mango Ketchup is a bit of work but definitely a component you don't want to skip. It is really spicy because it contains one habanero, but the spiciness mellows once everything is assembled. The buffalo meat was lovely on the grill. It takes less time to cook than beef since is has a lower fat ratio so use your grilling skills wisely.
We shared this meal with some friends this past weekend in Tahoe. It is always great to get out of the city and ski or snowboard, or lay around the cabin and watch the olympics, but don't do it without good food. And don't think it needs to be sunny to grill... M grilled the buffalo to perfection in 35˚ weather in the dark, with melty snow dripping on his head from the eave of the cabin.
Whole Foods sells it here in San Francisco, but I imagine it is easy to get in the midwest since that is where our buffalo came from. If not, a simple online search will provide quite a few buffalo meat distributors.
BBQ Buffalo Burgers with Red Slaw and Mango Ketchup
adapted from Bobby Flay, Food Network
1 1/2 lb ground buffalo meat
1/2 C BBQ Sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Mix this together being careful not to squish the meat. Form into patties and set aside to grill (I made 5 large patties). Heat grill, and cook for 5 minutes or so on each side.
1 mango peeled and diced
1 habanero pepper seeded and minced (wear gloves!)
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 C red wine vinegar
1 T honey
1/2 tsp salt
Saute garlic and onion in oil over medium heat. Add mango and cook 5 minutes. Add in spices and pepper, and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer the sauteed mix into a food processor. Add red wine vinegar, honey, and salt and process until smooth. Cover and Refrigerate.
1/2 head red cabbage shredded, divided
1 C red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 T caraway seeds
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil and vinegar in a small saucepan to boiling. Add 3/4 of the shredded cabbage, and caraway seeds, stir and cover. Let it wilt for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour before serving. Just before serving add in the reserved fresh shredded cabbage for a little extra crunch.
Assemble your burger with a large helping of ketchup and slaw. No cheese necessary!