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Crazy, Messy, Delicious Buffalo Burgers

Earthbound Farm co-founder Myra Goodman's daughter, Marea, took a trip to Europe after graduating from high school, and she brought back the story of an unusual menu offering she'd found in a little restaurant in Berlin: a buffalo burger. 

"She couldn't believe how good it was," says Myra. "She raved about it so much that it was one of the first things we cooked for dinner when she got home, and now we have the burgers often. The combination of cheese, bacon, grilled onions, sauerkraut and barbecue sauce is unexpected and delicious!"

If you haven't tried buffalo (bison), you're in for a treat. Contrary to what you might expect, there is nothing gamy-tasting about buffalo raised for meat production. It tastes like high-quality beef, but it's richer and sweeter. And when it comes to eating meat, buffalo is usually a healthier choice, with significantly less fat per gram than other animal proteins, plus more iron, protein and minerals than conventional beef.

The easiest way to serve this meal is to cook the patties and then let everyone assemble their own burgers, choosing from an array of condiments. Buffalo meat is very lean, so be careful not to overcook it. You can substitute regular ground beef if you prefer.

From The Earthbound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet by Myra Goodman

4 Servings


8 slice

thick-sliced bacon

1 ¼ lb

Ground buffalo (bison)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 Tbsp

olive oil


yellow onion (cut in half through the stem end, then thinly sliced crosswise)

4 slice

Swiss cheese


Good-quality rolls or burger buns (split)

½ cup

Barbecue sauce (warmed)

2 cups

Sauerkraut (drained and heated until warm)


ripe tomatoes (cut into thick rounds)

Earthbound Farm Organic Butter Lettuce Leaves

Sliced dill pickles


Dijon mustard


Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 15 minutes. Set the slices aside to drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

Gently form the buffalo meat into 4 round patties. Season on both sides with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion slices and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until they begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes. Lower the heat if the onions begin to cook too quickly. Transfer the onions to a plate and set aside. (The caramelized onions can be made 3 days ahead. Cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.)

Return the skillet to medium-high heat and film the bottom with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Arrange the buffalo patties in the pan so that they don't touch. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes to sear the meat. Turn the patties with a spatula. Place a slice of cheese on each burger, cover the skillet and cook until the cheese melts and the meat is cooked to your preference, 3 to 7 minutes. (Alternatively, you can grill the buffalo burgers on a barbecue grill.)

Set out the rolls, burger fixings and condiments, and let everyone build their own burgers by adding bacon, caramelized onions, barbecue sauce, sauerkraut, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup and mustard as desired.

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