What foods come to mind for the 4th of July!? Steaks, Brats, Hot Dogs, Burgers?
I think of juicy, hot, fresh burgers, preferably with grilled or caramelized onions, smothered in melted cheese. Can you picture it with me? It’s dinnertime on the 4th of July; after a long day of parade’s, pool games and belly flop contests; families retreat to regroup (or nap) and then you start to smell the barbecues all over the neighborhood — people gathering to celebrate our great country, kids (young and old) lighting fireworks, something grilling, fresh salads being brought out, bright red watermelons…Land of the free, home of the brave! I love our country and I love this burger. I hope I never take our great freedoms for granted. Give it a try, it’s simple, moist, juicy, popping with flavor!
We interrupt this blog post for an important Public Service Announcement:
Before I get to the burger though I’d like to clear something up; I’ve had more than one person say something like this to me since I started this blog, “Oh gosh, Kathleen is here, I should have made something & not bought it at the store.” or “Kathleen, this isn’t like anything you would make…” Please, pretty PLEASE, pleeeaaase don’t feel that way, keep in mind that I showcase one recipe a week. This is what I love to do, it doesn’t mean you need to love it, it doesn’t mean you need to make it, it doesn’t mean what you make is any less delicious, most importantly, I never want anyone to feel less than or like they should have made it instead of bought something. I’m just like you, I pull frozen meals out regularly, boil up some boxed mac and cheese, scrounge in the fridge for something to feed my family. In fact, this past weekend, after a long hot day at a swim meet; our swim team hosted a pool party that evening and everyone was asked to bring a dessert to share, you know what I brought? Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies! Not even bakery cookies, off the shelf, filled with preservatives, not my finest moment..yep that’s right.
I was that tired after an early morning and long day, it was hot and I just didn’t have baking in me. That’s real life folks, I get it, when you see pictures and recipes on the blog, remember that it is ONE recipe out of a possible 21 meals, not including snacks! Please never feel pressured or embarrassed; this blog is about encouraging others to try something new, make it your own, not to stress out about what you make or don’t make, or how you make it!
My hope is to inspire you, give new ideas, know that there are shortcuts and that I don’t do everything perfectly, I don’t serve up 5 course meals for my family each night. And for the record, I love being treated to not having to cook when invited over; what you make is perfect! I’m not judging or comparing, just enjoying your delicious food and wonderful company…just saying’!
So rest easy my friends, I am human just like you.
Thanks for hanging with me during this PSA! Back to our regularly scheduled post about burgers!! Have you ever tried bison or elk? They both make DELICIOUS burgers! Bison is more readily available in the grocery stores and Costco here in Colorado, but if you can get your hands on ground elk, go for it!
I love bison, it’s so lean and flavorful! Personally, I don’t think it’s gamey, my husband thinks it is, however; I think I’m slowly converting him. He really likes these burgers!
You can certainly swap out beef (or ground turkey or chicken for that matter) for the bison, they are just as good! If you haven’t tried bison, give it a whirl!
Plop your ground meat into a mixing bowl and add your Panko crumbs…
Mix in dry mustard, onion powder, seasoning salt, Worcestershire, ketchup and cream.
Mix well and form into 5 patties, makes about five ¼ lb burgers (our bison comes in 1.25 lb packages, if your meat only comes in 1 lb, packages you don’t need to adjust a thing, they will taste just fine). Or if you need 6 burgers, it’s fairly easy to stretch this recipe to another burger. Using your tablespoon, squish the back end into the center of the burger to form a little well. This enables the burger to cook more evenly…
..and creates a great well to pour a little more Worcestershire sauce into. Allow burgers to rest at room temp while you caramelize the onions.
In a pan, on medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.
Slice your onions, they don’t have to be perfect or super thin, but slice so they aren’t onion ring sized rings. Toss into the hot oil and butter in the pan. Cover, reducing temp to medium-low or even low and stir often until beautifully caramelized and they have made your home smell so wonderful that your people come from hither and yon to see what in the world you are making! Can you tell I love caramelized onions, their natural sweetness is brought out by slow cooking. Adds such scrumptious flavor! Cook for about 20 minutes over medium to low heat.
In about the last 10 minutes of caramelizing, start your grill or get your pan ready on the stovetop to cook the burgers.
Grill or cook your burgers 5 minutes on medium heat.
Flip and grill 3-4 minutes longer, adding a slice of your favorite cheese (I used provolone here) in the last minute. Remove from grill to plate and let sit for a few minutes to allow juices to fully absorb. If desired, get out your griddle and slather a little butter onto your buns; grill on medium-high heat for a few minutes until golden, remove. Or place on the grill just until grill marks show on inside of buns.
TIP: These burgers are super lean, don’t overcook them…this coming from a girl who likes her red meat dead, but seriously, don’t overcook them. When I flip them they tend to crumble a bit, but have no fear, just use a nice large spatula and get under it fast. If you lose a little piece, just pluck it out when you are ready to serve and place back on bun!
Place burger on pretzel roll or your favorite hamburger bun (or go bun-less), spoon on some of those wonderful onions and voilà! A lovely, juicy, so very flavorful burger! Serve alongside with sliced cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes, or maybe some kettle chips, or tater tots, or watermelon, or…you get the idea.
By the way, this would be lovely paired with my Super Easy Ice Cream Cake for dessert!
- 1 ¼ lbs ground bison (or ground beef)
- ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs (GF if trying to keep GF)
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp seasoning salt (like Lawry's)
- 4 "shakes" of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons cream (heavy or ½ & ½)
- 5 slices of cheese (your choice, optional)
- 5 Pretzel Rolls (or other hamburger roll of your choice
- CARAMELIZED ONIONS
- 1-2 medium to large yellow, white or sweet onions, sliced
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- Mix well into the ground meat, mustard, panic, onion powder, seasoning salt, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and cream.
- Form into five ¼ pound patties (or 6 smaller burgers),
- Using the back of a Tablespoon press into center of burger, created a well. If desired, pour a little more Worcestershire sauce in the well and let rest on a plate while caramelizing onions
- Heat oil and butter in medium pan, over medium-high heat
- Slice onions and toss into pan, reduce heat to medium-low.
- Cover, stirring often until golden caramel color, about 20 minutes
- In last 10 minutes cooking onions, preheat your grill or heat a pan on the stovetop
- Cook burgers over medium heat, 5 minutes.
- Flip burgers, cook for 3-4 more minutes, add cheese, cook for another minute until cheese melts.
- Optional: Heat griddle and butter halves of hamburger buns, cook on grill until golden. Or place on grill off to side of heat until warmed.
- Place bison burger on top of bun, load up with caramelized onions. Serve immediately with desired toppings.
- Serve with veggies, potato chips, tater tots, corn, watermelon, whatever you want!