Thursday, August 11, 2011

Italian Bison Burger

I just realized how brown all of my recent posts have been.  And I guess this one is pretty brown too, but at least you get the red of the tomato and the green of the fresh basil leaves, right?  So it's not TOO brown.  Just a little bit brown...  I promise to get some color on here soon that isn't brown!  Maybe tomorrow?  Or maybe tonight.  I do have some pretty exciting recipes planned out for this evening.  Anyway, I know we make a lot of burgers.  We can't help it.  Or I can't.  Burgers are easy to make, easy to play with, and satisfying to eat.  You can use whatever ground meat you have on hand and season it in any way you wish.  I know in the past we have made Korean-inspired burgers, Vietnamese-inspired burgers, Japanese burgers...  Actually, it looks like we have managed to hit all of Asia and very little of Europe.  This time we made an Italian-inspired burger with lots of fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto and a really nice beefsteak tomato from the farmer's market.  Nothing groundbreaking, but a nice meal.  And since we used ground bison instead of ground beef it's not actually that unhealthy!

Recipe after the jump!

Italian Bison Burgers

1 lb ground bison
1 tbsp evoo, plus additional for drizzling
1/3 cup shallot, finely minced (we used one really large shallot)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tbsp fresh basil, finely minced
1 tbsp fresh flatleaf parsley, finely minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Parmigiano-Regiano
8 slices of prosciutto
4 buns, toasted
1 large vine-ripened tomato (we used a beefsteak from the farmers' market)
4 1/4-inch thick slices of fresh mozzarella
handful fresh basil leaves

Combine bison, evoo, shallot, garlic, basil, parsley, tomato paste, balsamic and parm-reg in a large mixing bowl.  Using your hands, combine the ingredients.  Season with s&p,  Form four equal sized burger patties.  Form a divot/indentation in the center of each burger to ensure that they stay flat once cooked and don't puff up into giant burger balls with peaks in the center. Set aside.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over moderate heat.  Add prosciutto in one layer (cooking it in batches if necessary), to allow the prosciutto to crisp up.  Flip prosciutto several times until crisp on both sides, about 3 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Raise heat to medium-high.  Drizzle burgers with evoo and place them gently in the pan.  Cook, flipping once, about 2-3 minutes per side for medium (you don't want to cook bison until it's well-done because it has such a low fat content that it really dries out if you take it much past medium).

Remove burgers from pan, top with fresh mozzarella slices and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.  Assemble burgers with buns, tomato, burger patties with mozzarella, prosciutto and basil.


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