Happy Fourth of July ~ Bison Burgers with Washington Cabernet Onions and Wisconsin Cheddar

Happy 4th!

Tonight I decided to shake up the traditional Fourth of July hamburger with ground bison. It’s a very lean meat and a healthier option compared to most ground beef, and it is also feels like a patriotic choice for this holiday since bison have lived around this country longer than we have! I followed a recipe from Bon Appétit magazine that was absolutely delicious.

Bison Burgers with Washington Cabernet Onions and Wisconsin Cheddar

From Bon Appétit magazine


2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 cups sliced onions (about 2)

3/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine (I chose one from my home state of Washington)

1 pound ground bison (buffalo)

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

4 organic hamburger buns (I used whole-wheat)

6 ounces sliced Wisconsin white cheddar cheese (My other home state, where I grew up :))

Dijon mustard

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 sauté until tender and golden brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue to sauté 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.

Makes 4 burgers.

I served the burgers with simple sides of corn on the cob and watermelon slices. What could be more summery? 🙂

We also paired dinner with a Washington wine with a patriotic label called 2010 Charles & Charles Red Wine. It is a blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a perfect compliment to red meat.

The cute little clip art drink skewers and table decorations were from HP.com and MarthaStewart.com. Both were free to print :).

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