So last week Kat from A Good Appetite won last month’s Royal Foodie Joust with her Brie Stuffed Maple Burger with Spicy Apple Bacon Compote. That got me thinking (and drooling, slightly) about burgers…and maple, one of my favoritest ingredients on the planet. She said that she thought that maple went really well with beef, so I wanted to see if it went just as well with buffalo. I suspected it did.
I love buffalo meat, it is leaner than beef and has more CLA in it, because buffalo must eat grass to survive. To read more about CLA, and why it is important, click here. I also love burgers and it is often our meal of choice for movie night. This meal accompanied the movie Appaloosa with Viggo Mortensen.
I am also a huge fan of caramelized onions. They go good with just about anything you can cook up. Seriously, I bet putting them on ice cream would be awesome. Ever had garlic ice cream? That stuff is fan-freaking-tastic. I only have had it once, but it is a food memory that has stuck with me for probably more than 15 years. So really, I might try the caramelized onion thing, but not today.
Back to the onions. Recently I had made cinnamon spiced caramelized onions to go on a spicy carrot soup. I didn’t blog about it, but the recipe is pretty much like the one I did for Yogi Times way back when. Just added some nice cinnamon to the onions as they were doing their caramelizing thing. They turned out pretty good, so I figured that adding maple to this batch would be worth trying. Top the burgers with these maple-y onions, some Vermont sharp cheddar and some local St. Augustine, FL datil pepper BBQ sauce, and see what happens. A burger of transition, one that features the local delicacies of our current and future homes.
Well what happened is that the sky opened up and…wait no, that didn’t happen… What really happened is that it was one of the best burgers either of us had in a while. Kat, thanks for the inspiration, and I am sure before the fall and winter is over, I will be taking a stab at your winning entry!
Maple Caramelized Onions
½ white onion
salt and pepper to taste
½ bottle of Sam Adams Boston Ale
2 TBS pure VT maple syrup
dash of aged balsamic
Heat a splash of olive oil in a medium sized pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, and stir in the oil. Cook until soft. Add salt and pepper to help sweat the onions and flavor them. Then add ½ bottle of Boston Ale. Lower heat and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, adding water (or more beer) if onions begin to dry out. In the last 10 minutes add the maple and balsamic. Stir to blend and let flavors marry.
BBQ Buffalo Burgers
8 oz ground buffalo meat
2 TBS of datil pepper BBQ sauce
1 TBS pure VT maple syrup
salt and pepper
Mix the meat with the sauce, maple syrup and spices. Create two nice thick patties. Cook according to your preference. We did ours on the george forman grill. When burgers are cooked to your specifications top with VT sharp cheddar, maple onions and a little more BBQ. Mayo adds a nice dimension as well.
Serve with some nice crispy oven fries and enjoy!