What’s up, Hungry People!
Caution: Mild Legend of Korra spoilers in this post!
Today, we’re taking a trip to the Earth Kingdom, specifically Ba Sing Se, the vibrant city that holds both joy and secrets. It’s home to Bolin’s and Mako’s biological family, but also the notorious Earth Queen. Despite her unsavory reputation, there is one thing the Earth Queen undeniably appreciates: luxury. Surprisingly, one of her favorite delicacies happens to be flying bison meat! Now, before you panic as an Avatar fan, let me assure you that these delicious bison burgers are made with non-flying bison meat.
No Appas were harmed in the making of this recipe!
The Earth Queen’s Fondness for Luxury
Ah, the Earth Queen – a force to be reckoned with! From kidnapping airbenders to her demanding demeanor, she certainly knows how to make an impression. But when it comes to luxury, she truly excels. She turned the consumption of flying bison meat into a popular trend within Ba Sing Se. As an avid lover of the Avatar series, I can’t help but cringe at the thought of our beloved flying bisons being eaten.
However, as a meat enthusiast, my inner Sokka (the “meat and sarcasm guy”) can’t resist a good meat-based recipe.
Besides, once Zaheer brought an end to the Earth Queen’s reign and liberated Ba Sing Se, I’m sure flying bison meat dropped in popularity, allowing these majestic creatures to live happily ever after! Okay, maybe that last part is just my imagination, but it’s nice to pretend, isn’t it?
Exploring the Bison Burger
Putting morbid thoughts aside, let’s focus on the star of the show: the flying bison burger. Now, these aren’t made from actual flying bison meat, but rather their non-flying counterparts. You’ll be pleased to discover that these burgers are not only super delicious, but they also offer some health benefits. Bison meat is sweeter than beef and leaner than chicken, making it a fantastic choice for those looking for a healthier alternative. So, Hungry People, let’s dive into the details and create these mouthwatering bison burgers!
Here’s What You Need
- Ground bison meat: The star of the recipe, providing a lean and flavorful alternative to traditional beef burgers.
- Onion: Sliced and caramelized to add a sweet and savory element to the burger.
- Mushrooms: Sliced and sautéed to enhance the umami flavors and add a juicy texture.
- Jalapeno: Chopped and added for a spicy kick and an extra layer of flavor.
- Butter: Used for cooking the onions, mushrooms, and jalapenos, adding richness and enhancing the overall taste.
- Salt and pepper: Seasonings to enhance the flavors of the bison burgers.
- Burger buns: The base for the burger, providing a soft and sturdy vessel for all the delicious toppings.
- Lettuce: Adds freshness and a crisp texture to the burger.
- Tomato slices: Juicy tomato slices add a burst of acidity and juiciness to the burger.
- Cheese slices: Melted cheese adds creaminess and a savory element to the burger.
- Favorite condiments: Optional, but commonly used condiments such as ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise, to personalize the flavor profile of the burger.
Start by caramelizing the onions on low heat for about 30 minutes. This slow cooking process will transform them into beautifully browned, sweet, and tender strands of deliciousness. Trust me, it’s worth the wait.
Sautéing the Mushrooms and Jalapeños
While the onions are finishing up, let’s focus on the mushrooms and jalapeños. Heat up a large skillet and add some butter. Sauté the mushrooms and jalapeños together until the mushrooms have darkened and released their moisture. This will give them a fantastic flavor and enhance the overall taste of your burger.
Grilling the Bison Patties
Now it’s time for the star of the show – the bison patties! Form the bison meat into patties and lay them on a hot grill.
Here’s an important tip: do not move the burgers for at least 4-5 minutes. This will allow them to develop beautiful grill lines and ensure thorough cooking.
If you’re using a grill pan and don’t have a lid, don’t worry! I covered mine with a circular pan lid and added a tablespoon of water to create a steam effect. This helped to keep the bison moist and tender. If you have a regular grill, make sure to seal the burgers completely.
Flipping and Finishing
After about 4 minutes uncovered and an additional two minutes covered, flip the burgers and repeat the same process. Keep cooking until the internal temperature of the burgers reaches your desired level of doneness.
Personally, I believe bison is best served more rare than well done, so I aimed for an internal temperature of 130°F to 140°F.
However, if you prefer your burgers well done, aim for an internal temperature of 160°F.
Letting the Burgers Rest
Once the burgers are cooked to perfection, it’s essential to let them rest for at least five minutes before serving. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute and avoids any soggy buns. Trust me, it’s worth the patience.
Assembling the Bison Burgers
Now comes the fun part – assembling your bison burgers! Place the flavorful caramelized onions and sautéed jalapeño mushrooms on top of the burgers. For an extra burst of flavor, I recommend adding some marbled Colby cheddar cheese, fresh romaine lettuce, and juicy tomatoes. Feel free to get creative with your toppings!
Tips & Tricks for Flying Bison Burgers
- Caramelizing onions: Caramelizing onions takes time and patience. Keep the heat low to prevent burning and stir occasionally for even browning.
- Sautéing mushrooms and jalapenos: Use medium heat to allow the mushrooms to release moisture and develop a deeper flavor. Add a pinch of salt to help draw out the moisture.
- Grilling the bison patties: Preheat the grill or grill pan to high heat for a nice sear. Avoid moving the burgers for 4-5 minutes to develop those coveted grill marks.
- Steaming the burgers: If using a grill pan, adding a tablespoon of water and covering the burgers helps to retain moisture. Steam them for 1-2 minutes to ensure juiciness.
- Resting the burgers: Letting the burgers rest for a few minutes allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful burger.
- Toppings and condiments: Get creative with your toppings and condiments! Consider adding pickles, sautéed bell peppers, or your favorite sauces to customize the flavor profile.
- Cooking temperature: Aim for an internal temperature of 130°F to 140°F for a medium-rare to medium bison burger. Cook to 160°F for a well-done burger.
- Choosing buns: Select buns that can hold up to the juiciness of the burger. Toasting the buns lightly can add a nice texture and prevent sogginess.
- Keeping the burger intact: If you’re concerned about the burger falling apart on the grill, try chilling the patties in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before grilling. This helps them hold their shape.
- Experiment with seasonings: Feel free to experiment with additional seasonings in the bison meat, such as garlic powder, smoked paprika, or herbs like thyme or rosemary, to add more depth of flavor.
And there you have it, Hungry People – a delicious bison burger fit for Ba Sing Se!
I served my bison burger with Bolin’s favorite dumplings and a garlic ginger-infused potato inspired by Zaofu. One of the many benefits of bison meat is its versatility – it pairs well with almost everything.
While the original Gaang might have objected to eating these mouthwatering burgers (let’s face it, when you’re flying around on a bison, eating one might feel odd), times have changed. In our modern-ish society where benders and non-benders coexist, flying bison burgers will surely find a place on the menu for years to come. Unless, of course, you prefer to stick with my imaginative version of events.
As we reach the end of our culinary adventure in Ba Sing Se, let us savor the incredible flavors and delightful memories created with these flying bison-inspired burgers.
So, Hungry People, gather around the table, share a bite of these delectable burgers, and let the spirit of Ravaa and the magic of the Avatar universe ignite your love for good food and unforgettable stories. Enjoy!
Flying Bison Burgers
- 16 oz ground bison meat
- ½ onion sliced
- 8 mushrooms sliced
- 1 jalapeno chopped
- 4 tablespoons butter
- salt & pepper to taste
- burger buns
- tomato slices
- cheese slices
- favorite condiments pickles, lettuce, etc.
- In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt two tablespoons of butter. Add the sliced onions and caramelize them for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they have browned and become tender. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same skillet, turn the heat up to medium and add the remaining butter, jalapenos, and mushrooms. Sauté until the mushrooms have browned and softened.
- Form the bison meat into four equal-sized patties. Season them with salt and pepper according to your taste. Heat a grill pan or grill to high heat, then place the patties on the grill. Do not move the burgers for about 4-5 minutes to ensure perfect grill marks.
- If using a grill pan, add a tablespoon of water to the pan and quickly cover the burgers to steam for 1-2 minutes. Then, flip the burgers.
- Let the burgers rest for a few minutes before serving. Top them with the caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms and jalapenos, and any other optional toppings you desire, such as lettuce, tomato slices, cheese slices, and your favorite condiments. Serve the burgers right away and enjoy with your favorite Avatar episode or movie!