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.

Saskatoon berry compote

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.

Bison burger

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.

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?


  1. Leave a Reply

    Bryan McCaw
    December 17, 2013

    There’s always wind in Saskatchewan.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      December 17, 2013

      True! And my mom has always loved how flat it is. Watch your dog run away for 3 days…

  2. Leave a Reply

    Jackie Dale
    December 17, 2013

    Sounds delicious! We are fans of flavoured mayo and compote
    on burgers (my mother in laws peach and pepper jelly is fab on a burger with goat cheese)!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Trevor aka The Burger Nerd
    December 17, 2013

    Wonderful article. Glad that it all worked out in the end. IMHO it definitely qualifies as a burger…and a delicious one at that. Great working with you on this idea…although I’d hardly call what I did “work”. My work consisted of sitting on my rump and pontificating on bison burger ideas and not actually running around the city looking for berries and dandelions 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      December 17, 2013

      Love the image of me running around the city looking for berries and dandelions – seems like it should be much more springlike and that I should have been romping or frolicking on my hunt. Thanks again! This was great delicious fun!

  4. Leave a Reply

    December 20, 2013

    Lol. Who is Burger Nerd?? A great thing about Saskatoooooon..? Um.. It is the largest city in the province! I always learn a thing or 2 from reading your posts. #1 Bannock.. #2 That saskatoons are high in antioxidants.. Yay. Thanks and Happy Holidays!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      December 20, 2013

      He’s the world leader in all burgerdom! Check him out at Happy Holidays to you too!!

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