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burgers.jpgI did a story for today's Food & Wine section about cooking game. I know I may catch some flak for admitting that I eat game meat such as elk and bison (and love it, quite frankly), but it's healthy (as red meat goes), versatile and ridiculously delicious.

I took to the Bee's test kitchen recently and developed a recipe for bison burgers that many coworkers, including some a little wary about trying game meat, found pleasing to the palate.

Here's the recipe.

True Blue "Buffalo" Burgers
Prep time: 10 minutes active, 1 hour inactive
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4
Notes: Ranched bison can be found in some area supermarkets, such as Raley's. Not game for eating game? Beef would be a fine substitute. Serve these burgers alongside some oven-roasted sweet potato fries for a delicious meal.

1 pound ground bison
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoon Lawry's Seasoning Salt
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rings.
1 quart low fat buttermilk
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups panko bread crumbs
4 ounces blue cheese (I used Point Reyes)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 to 3 tablespoons Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce
4 hamburger buns

Pour buttermilk into large bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the seasoning salt. Place the sliced onions in the buttermilk and refrigerate for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and very lightly coat a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Place the flour in a medium bowl and the panko in another medium bowl next to it. Remove soaked onions from the fridge. In an assembly line kind of maneuver, dip the onions into the flour, back in the buttermilk, then into the panko crumbs and place on the cookie sheet. Repeat until all onion rings are done. Bake in oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and crispy. Remove from oven and set aside.

Preheat the oven to broil or heat your outdoor grill to about 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together the bison meat, olive oil, Worcestershire, remaining 1 tablespoon of seasoning salt, and salt and pepper to taste. Pat the meat into four burgers, making a small, shallow indent with your thumb in the middle of each burger. Grill to desired doneness, about 5 minutes for medium.

In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise and Frank's RedHot sauce to desired spiciness. Slather desired amount of spicy aioli on top half of each bun. Place a burger on the bottom half of bun and top with about an ounce of blue cheese each and a few onion rings and the aioli covered top bun. Enjoy.
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