The Bison Saskatoon Burger-wich
Oh, the burger nerd is going to be maaaaad at me.
You see, the burger nerd is into burgers. I mean, really into burgers. We’re talking blog posts about McDonald’s developments and burger horoscopes and zombie and cat burgers. Oh, and a gajillion creative burger recipes. So when some ground bison smiled (snarled?) at me from behind the butcher’s counter I knew he was the perfect person to bring in as backup.
He moved his burger to his non-typing hand and replied promptly to my tweet asking for bison burger ideas. I took him up on his very first suggestion, which was to develop a theme around First Nations foods. He suggested a burger on bannock bread with Saskatoon berry mayo and dandelion greens. Amazing. I had obviously gone to the right guy.
I was determined to find Saskatoon berries – not just because Saskatoon is such a rockin place, known for its… wow, I can’t even find a claim to fame for Saskatoon. The best I can do is that they are leaders in potash, which sounds a lot more interesting than it is. Please, someone reply and tell me what’s awesome about Saskatoon. But I was determined to find them because I had never tried them and that’s my thing. Turns out they’re high in antioxidants and other anti-aging stuff. Saskatoon berries will be my Christmas gift to my wrinkles. For my 10th anniversary with them they’re getting botox shhhhh.
Anyway, I Googled to find Saskatoon berries forever and was about to pay four times their price in shipping (because I LOVE a dangerous food quest, and this is not sarcasm), only to find out that a vendor at the market at the end of my street sells a compote they make with them.
Plus, that vendor is extremely chatty and an expert at foraging, so I walked away with two other dangerous foods. Things were getting better and better.
Until tonight, when I tried to make the burgers. I thought I had time to pull it all together but then I was reminded that it was hockey night for my guinea pig, I mean, husband. So I started the bannock, but ended up having to use plain ol’ bread, which I thought would technically make it a “sandwich” rather than a “burger,” but burger nerd says the only criteria for a burger are ground meat and a patty shape. I don’t know, man. Check out my picture and tell me that doesn’t look like a sandwich.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a great sandwich. Burger nerd is going to be PO’d though, because I’m sure this picture will make him have to edit his post and add some carb criteria.
Also I couldn’t find dandelion, which was odd, but seemed to align with the rest of the karma for this burger project. So I used kale, because I had some. Also I later found out that the bannock I made (but didn’t use) is the Scottish bannock, which is like a crumpet, rather than the First Nations fried bread type bannock.
But the good news in all this is that I ate an insane quantity of bison sandwich, and it was delicious. And my little guy ate a ton too (but without the sauce). Thanks burger nerd! It didn’t exactly work out as we first pictured but happy tummies means a job well done in my books. (The guinea pig liked his too, from what I could tell in the 20 seconds it took him to scarf it down).
So here’s how to do it.
First Nations inspired bison burger
- Bread. Or Scottish bannock. Or First Nations bannock, which I’ll try another day, maybe over a campfire
- Ground bison, enough to make patties to serve your party
- Seasoning, made of 1Tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder (per Burger Nerd’s advice)
- 2 Tbsp mayo (I didn’t make mine from scratch)
- 1 tsp Saskatoon berry compote
- Kale or dandelion greens
- Olive oil
Directions: Heat the barbecue to high heat. It’s cold here, so I let ours rip for at least 15 minutes. Brush grill with olive oil.
Form balls of meat.
Put them on the grill, squish them flat with a spatula, then sprinkle with seasoning. Flip when cooked and season the other side.
Mix mayo with compote. Rescue burgers from grill when finished, and dress them with mayo, kale, and pitiful bread.
Results: 4 Yums. This was a super enjoyable burger for me. If you can’t get hold of Saskatoon berries, make sure to flavour your mayo with another jam, or cranberry sauce. Why haven’t I always been flavouring my mayo? This post just upped my game in that department forever after. And I loved Saskatoon berries. Think redder blueberries.
Question: What is your favourite burger?