Where the buffalo roam…

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I don’t remember the first time I fixed ground buffalo, but I wasn’t too impressed. Somehow, despite its fat content (and yeah, for someone used to grass-fed ground beef, this is pretty fatty), I ended up with a dry buffalo burger.

Not this time.

Consider that a segue into how I’m kinda cheating this time around and just “test drove” some recipes for you guys. And they’re both well worth a shot. Because I followed the instructions pretty much to the tee, I’m not reprinting here; just follow the links. I’ve included a few notes, though, because I have to be hella long-winded.

The buffalo burgers were perfectly seasoned and juicy (and don’t be tempted to skip the relish–it really pulls this all together, plus you have an excuse to go grab some beers). I subbed in equal parts balsamic vinegar and that iconic bright, yellow mustard, and it turned out well. I think maybe the serving size listed is a bit much, because the proportions really worked just fine for the 16 oz. of ground buffalo I used (divided into four patties). I grilled these about 4 minutes per side over medium-high heat, and it was really too long for a medium-rare finish, so I’ll decrease the grilling time by half next time around. Also, let these sit after pulling them off the grill. In fact, let all meat sit after grilling/roasting. It gives the meat time to reclaim its juices, so to speak. Just don’t touch the meat or poke it or fork it. Seriously, treat it with some dignity and respect.

The whole wheat rolls were incredibly simple, light (yeah, whole wheat can be perfectly fluffy), and literally ready in the 40 minutes promised. I used a hard red flour from a local vendor (yeah, I’m kinda spoiled) and subbed in honey in a 1:1 ratio as I don’t use or even keep sugar in our house. I did have to add about 3/4 c. of flour, but just start with the base 3 c. of flour and go from there because heat/humidity play a big role in how the, um, rolls turn out. I utilized my KitchenAid standing mixer with the dough hook attachment and kept an eye on how much the dough stuck to the bowl. Basically, it shouldn’t be sticky to the touch. Instead, it should be soft and malleable, with some “spring” to it when pulled apart to shape the individual rolls. I went for 8 total shaped a bit larger to serve as the buns for the buffalo burger.

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As easy as this all is to pull together, there’s really no reason to go out for a burger. You can even fix the rolls a day or two in advance and refrigerate and/or shape the burgers and keep chilled. Serve roasted potatoes on the side or a good salad. Go ahead, treat yo’self to a good burger!

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