Bison burgers: Colorado Proud’s recipe of the month for July

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By Robin Young | SUN Columnist

It’s summertime and definitely time to dust off the grill, if you haven’t already. Colorado has a wide variety of products to choose from to make your next grill out perfect, but if you want to up your game, try these delicious bison burgers to wow your guests. 

Bison can be found from producers throughout Colorado and is a healthy, lean, nutrient-rich red meat endorsed by the American Heart Association.

The bison industry has been slowly growing over the past decade, with herds once more grazing the prairies. Our national mammal, bison provide far more meat than other herd animals — up to 2,000 pounds on an average male.

Bison meat can be processed as whole cuts, ground or strips, and is delicious no matter how you cook it. This month’s recipe uses a tried-and-true burger with multiple variations to keep it fresh and fun. Try it as a green chile bison burger topped with pepperjack cheese and green chiles, or a barbecue version with barbecued pulled pork, cooked bacon, tomato jam and barbecue sauce as toppers. Any way you try it, you’re sure to find a combination that pleases the palate.

Chef Jason K. Morse said, “Bison is one of my favorite proteins; it’s lean, power packed and loaded with iron, zinc, vitamins and omega-3 fats. This recipe takes bison on a trip around Colorado with some fun flavor variations. Happy cooking!”

Bison Burgers 

Recipe by Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C.:

Yield: Four burgers

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pound of ground bison

Seasoning to taste 

4 slices of smoked cheddar cheese

6 slices of cooked applewood bacon

4 brioche or kaiser buns

Garnish: lettuce, tomato, onion, sweet pickles

Preparation directions:

1. Wash all tools prior to use.

2. Clean and sanitize all cutting boards and prep surfaces prior to use.

3. Read all manufacturer’s instructions before using grills, ranges, ovens and any cooking tools.

Grilling tips:

• Always start with clean and brushed grill grates.

• Preheat grill to high temp of 450-500 degrees F.

• Cast iron or stainless steel grates are perfect for grilling and add a nice crust.

• Use a flat burger patty or use a burger press to create a flat patty.

• Always sear the burgers on high.

• Utilize the upper shelf to keep it hot and indirect when finishing the burger.

• Avoid pressing the burger; this causes flare-ups and a less juicy burger.

• Check meat temperature from the side of the patty.

• Always cool burgers in an open container in the fridge, once cooled to 40 degrees or below, they are safe to cover or transfer to a zipper bag for storage.

• The shelf life for leftover burgers is two days.

• Properly reheat the leftover burger to 150 degrees or higher.

• Only reheat burgers once and don’t freeze already grilled burgers.

Cooking directions:

1. Heat your gas grill to high (approximately 450-500 degrees F).

2. Divide the mixture into four balls and patty them out, use a press if available.

3. Season both sides to taste.

4. If using a skillet or griddle, add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat oil before adding the burgers.

5. Sear the burgers for 3-4 minutes per side and cook burgers to desired temperature.

6. While the burgers are finishing, heat up the bacon and place on top of the burger.

7. Toast the buns and hold.

8. Place a slice of cheese on top of the bacon and allow to melt about 50 percent.

9. Serve with some shredded lettuce, sliced onion, sliced tomato and sweet pickles.

10. Devour.

Colorado bison
burger variations

Green chile bison burger

Top with green Pueblo chiles, then melt pepperjack cheese on top. Add your favorite garnishes, like lettuce, tomato and onion.

Colorado barbecued bison burger

Top with barbecued pulled pork, cooked bacon, tomato jam and barbecue sauce (pick your favorite). Add your favorite garnishes, like lettuce, tomato and onion.

Archuleta County Fair

The Archuleta County Fair is set for Aug. 4-7. 

Have you ever wanted to enter the Archuleta County Fair? Are you a woodworker, potter, jeweler, photographer, painter or knitter? Or, maybe you grow vegetables or bake cookies? Would you like to showcase your creations? These are just some of the many divisions that you can enter in Open Class. 

Go to https://www.archuletacountyfair.com and look up the 2022 Fair Book for the rules. Judging will be Aug. 3. 

If you have further questions, please email archuletacountyfair@gmail.com. 

You could earn a Grand Champion ribbon at the Archuleta County Fair.

Volunteers needed

Archuleta County 4-H needs volunteers. We are looking for a short-term commitment for superintendents at the county fair. 

Please contact our office at (970) 264-5931 or contact 4-H Coordinator Becky Jacobson at rjacobson@archuletacounty.org.

Visit online

Visit us on the Web at https://archuleta.extension.colostate.edu/ or like us on Facebook and get more information: https://www.facebook.com/CSUARCHCTY and https://www.facebook.com/ArchuletaCounty4H.