We're always trying to eat healthy, even though we still want our cakes, cookies and burgers. We very big on bison around here. It's supposed to be better for us than beef because it's lower in fat and especially low in saturated fat. I don't find the flavor remarkably different from beef but it's significantly leaner. Often called buffalo, they're in the same family, but they aren't actually buffalo, like the ones in Africa and Asia. There's also good news if you worry about growth hormones and antibiotics because they are not administered to bison.
So when my mom handed me a big bag of shiitake mushrooms, I went on the hunt for a recipe. I found Edison Mays' recipe for Shiitake Mushroom and Sweet Onion Burgers at Food Network. I just switched it up a little bit and made it with bison.
It worked out great. Because bison is lean, it should be cooked over a lower heat than we usually cook beef. Don't let that scare you. You can still grill and pan fry, just like you would hamburger - but turn the heat down and don't grill directly over the flame.
While we're busy being healthy, did you know that shiitake mushrooms are used against cancer in some countries? They contain antioxidants and reduce inflammation. Who knew? The flavor of shiitakes is more pronounced than white or crimini mushrooms but they blend quite nicely with the mushrooms and bison in this recipe.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 1/2 - 2 cups chopped shiitake mushroom caps
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 pound (16 ounces) ground bison
1-2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
Melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat and cook the onions until translucent, about five minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and soy sauce, and cook, turning occasionally. The shiitake will shrink substantially. Salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat to cool. When cool, mix with ground beef and shape into burgers. (If desired, you could cover and refrigerate at this point and cook the burgers later in the day.) Heat the additional olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the burgers and cook until you begin to see the sides turning color. Flip. Cook until done.
According to guidelines, salmonella is killed at 160. Others recommend cooking bison to 135 - 155. It's your call.
Serve as is or on a bun.
|Cook onions and shiitake mushrooms.|
|Mix with bison.|
|Pan fry or grill.|
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