The Sioux Falls, South Dakota, owner and executive chef at Skajewski Catering, Nicholas Skajewski, creates an over-the-top thick bison burger with caramelized red onions accentuated with a touch of red wine. Served on a sweet brioche bun with a lemon-garlic aioli, it pairs well with summer side dishes.
Bison Burgers with Caramelized Onions
Yields: 4 burgers
- 2 medium red onions (6 to 8 oz each), sliced
- 4 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup dry red wine (such as Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 lbs ground bison
- 4 oz blue cheese, sliced
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed with press or minced
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp minced shallot
- 4 brioche buns, split
- about 2 cups spring mix salad greens
- 1 large tomato, cut into 4 slices
In large skillet over medium heat, add onions, 2 tablespoons oil and butter; sprinkle lightly with pepper and salt. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until onions soften and start to brown or caramelize, stirring frequently. Stir in wine, sugar and vinegar; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until onions are reduced to a thick, syrup-like consistency, stirring occasionally; set aside.
Meanwhile, shape ground bison evenly into 4 thick burgers. Sprinkle both sides well with pepper and salt. Preheat large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium-high heat until smoking. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, swirling skillet to coat; add burgers and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 140°F for medium doneness, turning burgers occasionally to brown both sides. Place blue cheese on top of burgers during last few minutes of cooking to soften slightly. Transfer burgers to plate; let stand 5 minutes. Internal temperature will rise about 5°F upon standing.
In bowl, stir together mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice and shallot. Toast buns.
Assemble burgers: Arrange salad greens evenly on bottom halves of buns; top with 1 slice tomato and burger. Place some caramelized onions over burger; spread lemon-garlic aioli on top halves of buns, then place over burgers to serve.