Triple B Burger
This is a burger I created last fall, and there is a lot of love that goes into it. I make a strawberry BBQ sauce and homemade Rosemary rolls just for one burger. You can simplify this recipe by purchasing pre-made buns, but I highly recommend, no, I insist on, making the BBQ sauce.
Triple B stands for Bison, Bacon, and Blue Cheese. I use ground bison you can find in most stores, sold by the pound, center cut bacon, and a mild blue cheese. Blue cheese is one of those cheese that can overwhelm a dish, so I go easy on it. Plus, the BBQ sauce helps balance the sharp saltiness of the cheese. The recipe below is broken up into the three different components. Since the bread takes the longest, I cheat and start with a box of white bread mix, typically used with a bread machine, but then make them hand (so I do not use a bread machine, if that was unclear).
For the bread:
1 box Country White Bread Mix
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
Flour for dusting
Follow the instructions on the box for Traditional Bread (not bread maker, duh). Add the 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary to the mix when it is dry, and then mix it in when combining all ingredients. After kneading it together for 5-10 minutes on a floured surface, place dough in a slightly greased bowl and cover. Let it sit and rise for about an hour, until it doubles in size.
Divide dough into 6-8 portions and form into a roll by gently pulling the dough around your thumb and gathering it together under the bun. This makes a nice, smooth, round top. Repeat this for all portions and set on greased pan. Cover and let rise again. Sprinkle with flour and bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes. They should have a golden brown top, but not too brown.
For the BBQ Sauce:
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 pound strawberries, sliced
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoons fresh black pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard (I’ve used both Dijon and stone ground, adjust according to your taste)
This makes about 1.5 cups of BBQ sauce; you’ll have some left over to dip the extra bread in!
Mix the sugar, strawberries, vinegar, water, and black pepper in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and cook at a slow boil for about 45 minutes or until thick. Remove it from heat and add ketchup, and mustard. Mix it really well.
The strawberries should break down over those 45 minutes, but you might want to use an immersion blender to smooth it out. Strain the mixture through a sieve or cheesecloth to remove the seeds. You don’t want those little buggers to make it into the burger.
Now, for the burger:
1 pound (1 package) ground bison
1 slice of bacon per burger, cooked well done and set aside to crisp and drain excess oil
Blue Cheese, sliced thinly
1 Beefsteak tomato
1 bunch watercress
The burger itself is pretty simple. Just season the meat with salt, pepper, and form into patties. Depending on how big you want your burger, you could get 2-4 burgers. Grill on medium-high heat, using high heat cooking oil (not olive oil) to coat the surface of the grill. I use an indoor grill that’s non-stick, but I still use the oil to get a nice browning on the burger. Cook until internal temp is 160F. You’ll want to flip the burgers after 4 minutes, and then flip them once or twice more. Total cooking time should be between 11-13 minutes. About a minute before removing them from the grill, place a slice of blue cheese on top. It should be enough to thinly cover the top of the burger.
Remove from heat and let the burgers rest a few minutes before assembly.
When it’s time to assemble, slice your buns, and spread the BBQ sauce on the inside of the top of the bun. Don’t be shy with it! Then, from the bottom up, layer watercress, a slice of tomato (I like it cut thick), burger with cheese, a slice of bacon (or two if you are feeling adventurous), and then the top of the bun.
You might need to give it a little squeeze to be able to take a bite, but go for it. You know you want to.
I have served mine with homemade chips and had fun making the chips from Japanese Sweet Potatoes. The sweet and salty taste meshes well with the sweet, salty, and savory burger. Enjoy!