Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bison Burgers with Grilled Onions and Hot-Chile Ketchup

Bison meat is a flavorful, lean alternative to ground beef—and it’s getting easier to find in markets across the United States. Although there’s not as much fat in bison, these burgers still cook up juicy and tender with that great charred flavor of grilled beef—even when cooked indoors.

Ground Bison
In keeping with the lean theme, I topped the burgers with smoky grilled red onion (easy to do in a grill pan) and a bold, spicy ketchup that comes together in no time and takes regular ketchup to another level of flavor.

I also added a little shredded mozzarella melted over the top of the burgers, but but you can use the cheese of your choice, or skip it altogether to go even lighter.

Serves 2

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp jarred chile-garlic sauce
  • 1/4 tsp chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 red Thai chiles or 1 red serrano chile, finely chopped
  • sea salt
  • 2/3 lb ground bison
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 2-1/4-inch-thick slices of a medium red onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 whole-wheat sandwich buns, lightly toasted
  • dill pickle spears, for serving
  1. Combine the ketchup, chile-garlic sauce, chile powder, cumin, and chopped chile in a bowl and season lightly with salt.
Ketchup Ingredients
Hot-Chile Ketchup
  1. Place the bison, garlic, dry mustard, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix lightly and divide into 2 patties.
Bison Patties
  1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and brush with olive oil. Lay the onion slices in the pan and grill until lightly charred on the bottom, 4-5 minutes. 
  2. Carefully turn the onions, trying to keep the rings intact (but it’s okay if they separate). Season with salt and pepper and grill until lightly charred on the other side, 3-4 minutes. Remove to a plate.
Onion Beginning to Grill 
Onion after Turning
  1. Brush the grill pan with more oil and grill the bison patties until lightly charred and just cooked through, 5-6 minutes per side. 
  2. About 1 minute before the burgers are done, sprinkle the tops with cheese and cook until melted.
Patties Beginning to Grill
Burgers after Turning 
Burgers with Cheese
To serve, divide the hot-chile ketchup on the tops and bottoms of the buns. Place a burger on each bottom half and divide the grilled onions on top. Close the sandwiches and serve with dill pickle spears alongside.

Bison Burgers with Grilled Onions and Hot-Chile Ketchup

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