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Bison Burgers with Cabernet Onions and Wisconsin Cheddar

Bison Burgers with Cabernet Onions and Wisconsin Cheddar

Bison meat is very lean and is best served rare or medium-rare.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cups sliced onions (about 2)
  • 3/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine
  • 1 pound ground bison (buffalo)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 6 ounces sliced Wisconsin white cheddar cheese
  • 1 small head of escarole, leaves separated

Recipe Preparation

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until tender and golden brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue to sauté until very tender and well browned, about 15 minutes longer. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Cool, cover, and chill.

  • Preheat broiler. Gently mix meat and next 3 ingredients in large bowl. Shape into four 1/2-inch-thick patties. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper; add to skillet. Cook until well browned, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare.

  • Open buns and arrange, cut side up, on rimmed baking sheet. Place cheese slices on bun tops. Broil until cheese melts and bottom halves are lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Spread bottom halves with mustard. Top each with a few escarole leaves, then burger. Spoon onions atop burgers, dividing equally. Cover with bun tops; press lightly.

Recipe by Jeanne Thiel Kelley,Photos by Kana Okada, Craig CutlerReviews Section

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With a full season of summer grilling ahead of you, don't waste a meal with a plain old burger patty slapped on the grill. Instead dress up your dinner (or lunch, or breakfast) plate with one of these 50 burger recipes. With poultry burgers, seafood burgers, veggie burgers, and more, there's enough on this list to keep your grill fired up through the summer—and beyond.








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Bison Bacon Burgers

The other night I wanted to add a flavor twist to our usual bison burgers. I had seen a recipe for decadent bacon filled beef burgers in a magazine and I wanted to reinterprete them with about 20g less saturated fat. I found a nice compromise combining nitrate free turkey bacon with grass-fed bison. These burgers have loads of flavor, high protein and they are lean and clean.

Smoky burgers are awesome when we are in Telluride. Here I am before heading home for dinner at my favorite bookstore Between the Covers sipping Americano’s while my little guy munches pastries. This gives me a few minutes on my laptop.

Organic grass-fed bison is a delicious, full flavor, lean source of protein. I usually get mine at Whole Foods. You can also check your local butcher. Some online sources include and

Bison Burger Recipe Links

Sudara Eats: Our Favorite Burgers

Burgers do not need much of an intro as the good ones will be the stars of the (dinner) show. These are a few of our tried-and-true favorite burgers and the ones we are looking forward to making again this summer. Make sure to check out our On the Grill board for even more burger ideas and sides! Cheers to good food and warm weather.

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I usually turn these into sliders and serve them at casual dinner parties. I am not a fan of fennel so I’ve always left it out no one’s seemed to mind and everyone goes back for thirds.

Black Bean Butternut Sliders with Chipotle Ketchup via How Sweet Eats

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Bison Burgers with Cabernet Onions and Wisconsin Cheddar via BON APPÉTIT (February 2009)

The sweetness of the onions and the sharpness of the cheddar go very well together. In fact, we wanted to eat the cabernet onions right out of the pan. What’s that quote from Julia Child — “I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food.” The bison meat, as called for in the original recipe, is excellent, but if you cannot find it, we’ve also used ground sirloin with equally great results.

Fish and Seafood Recipes

11. Baked Salmon with Honey Mustard and Pecan Panko Crust

I&rsquom honestly not a fan of salmon and would prefer to get my omega-3s through a can of sardines. But once I found this salmon recipe, salmon disappears in my household. This recipe is a salmon game changer and I will only eat salmon when I make it this way.

The prep is simple and cleanup is easy making this my #1 go-to fish recipe. Go ahead and try it maybe it&rsquoll be your #1 go-to as well.

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If you&rsquore not a fan of the fatty fish, then try this recipe! You can use your favorite white fish. I prefer cod or rockfish but halibut works just as well.

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13. Hi Protein Hearty Tuna Salad

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Yellow fin tuna was one of the high protein foods I incorporated into my diet. I found this recipe helps to add a little variety than just mixing it with mayo though I intentionally omitted the celery because I just don&rsquot like it.

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14. Nobu&rsquos Miso-Marinated Black Cod Recipe

This is one of my childhood favorites that my grandma used to make. The cod comes out so buttery that it will melt in your mouth when you eat it.

It is a simple four ingredient recipe that requires marinating the fish overnight and baking it in the oven. Another one pan recipe with easy clean up!

15. Honey Garlic Shrimp

I&rsquom normally not a big fan of shrimp but this recipe kicks butt! To make it a little bit spicier, I will add additional garlic and a hint of chili pepper flakes.

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Wagyu Beef Burger

Did someone say Wagyu? If you're looking for something really special, we recommend the Wagyu beef burger. Not only does Wagyu beef have higher levels of marbling, but it's also known for actually melting in your mouth. Because there's no messing with a classic, here's a perfectly balanced (and buttery) cheeseburger recipe from The Burger Lab!

Blended Pork & Beef Burger

Pork and beef were made to be together. That's why we blended them for an incredibly juicy experience. A unique burger deserves some unique toppings – why not try a fried egg or a grilled pineapple? There are no rules when it comes to the burger! We love this list of 30 wild and wonderful burger toppings.

All Beef Burger

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Beef 'n' Bacon Burger

If bacon on top of your burger isn't enough, you have to try our signature beef 'n' bacon burgers. With bacon ground up right into the patty, these babies are a smash hit at he Calgary Farmer's Market! Here's a list of 9 unique burger topping options to get your creative juices flowing.

Bison Burger

This spring, we will also have bison burgers available at Spragg's. If you haven't tried a bison burger yet, we recommend giving it a whirl! Bison burgers are a great leaner meat option known for their tender texture. Why not go all out by topping your bison burger with some cabernet-soaked onions and Wisconsin cheddar!

Kubi Burger

April through August, we'll also have the beloved Kubi Burger on hand. A unique prairie treat, the Kubi burger is a hamburger made with kubasa, a pressed Ukrainian garlic sausage. We recommend topping yours with fried onions, sauerkraut and grainy mustard!

If you're ready to get grilling, visit our Calgary or Rosemary location for all your burger needs or go online to shop our curbside pick-up boxes. Happy eating!

Bison Burger

Recipe courtesy Michael Paley, executive chef of Proof on Main, Louisville, KY

Using grass-fed bison meat as the base, the team at Proof on Main in Louisville, Kentucky, tops the Bison Burger with local Cheddar, house-cured bacon and Jezebel sauce.

Jezebel Sauce

2 cups apricot preserves
2 cups apple jelly
1½ cups prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ tablespoon ground black pepper
½ tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon grated clove

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir until well incorporated. Makes 4 cups.

Bison Burgers with Cabernet Onions and Wisconsin Cheddar - Recipes

house fried chips and peach salsa 9

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peach truck peaches, silver tequila, lime, simple

peach truck old fashioned 11

peach truck peaches, belle meade bourbon, ango, simple

fried mac & cheese bites

honey dijon aioli and jack daniels maple ketchup 8

free-range chicken wings

choice of habanero hot, house bbq or jerk sauce 8

wisconsin yellow cheddar powder with buttermilk ranch 7

house, sweet potato and truffle fries served with trio of sauces 7

house fries topped with chili, queso, green onions and sambal sour cream 8

pimento potato skins

house made pimento cheese, benton's bacon, green onions, ranch 10

BURGERS* all burgers served with house fries

two pressed beef patties, shredded iceberg, pickles, shaved red onion, double cheese with house dijonnaise on a potato roll 11

house made chili, spicy queso fried jalapeno, sambal sour cream 14

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black and blue burger

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lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, yellow cheddar, yellow mustard 11

avocado, caramelized red onions, mayo, romaine and tomato 11

white cheddar, fried red onion and jalapeños, romaine, tomato and honey dijon aioli 16

fried chicken breast, truffle aioli, pickles,

quinoa and black bean burger, lettuce, tomato, yellow cheddar, jack daniels maple ketchup, fresh jalapeño, avocado 12

burgers are cooked to medium unless specified

burger Up fries with peanut oil.

add benton’s bacon – add 3

add fried egg – add 2

gluten-free bun – add 3

double any burger – market price

A 20% gratuity will be added to parties of 6 or more.

A 10% service charge is added to to-go orders.

benton's bacon, sweetwater cheddar, sour cream, green onions
bowl-8 cup-5

house made chili topped with yellow and white cheddar, green onions, sambal sour cream bowl-8 cup-5

fresh cut greens, seasonal vegetables, sweetwater white cheddar, pecans, balsamic vinaigrette 8

hearts of romaine, shaved parmesan, benton’s bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, caesar dressing 10

chopped curly green kale, roasted hazelnuts, dried tart cherries, pecorino romano, citrus vinaigrette 11

arugula, red beets, apples, cucumber, pistachios, honey vinaigrette 12

1. 11:11 Burgers and Beignets – Fond du Lac

Feast on famous burgers like the “Breakfast Buffet Burger”, “PB&J Burger” and “Baconeater” at 11:11, easily one of the best places in the state for a juicy burger. The burgers here are generally thicker than normal beef patties so know that before ordering a double patty – it’s a beast.

Plus, with two locations you’ve no excuse not to stop in.

2. North Avenue Grill -Wauwatosa

North Avenue Grill has all you could ever want from a diner and more. Like, insanely juicy and tasty burgers stuffed with gooey cheese and crispy onions. Friendly service is the cherry on top. Their burgers have no frills to them just a good ol’ burger that is made to juicy perfection.

3. Mazos Hamburgers – Milawaukee

Mazos is an old school burger joint where they keep things classic in style. Their patties are freshly made daily. A double cheeseburger here with their famous crinkle cut fries is as tasty as food can possibly get.

Get ready for one of the best burgers in Wisconsin.

4. The Historic Trempealeau Hotel

Situated along the Mississippi River in Trempealeau, this is definitely worth the visit. For proper comfort food made with delicious and fresh ingredients, you’re in for a tasty feast.

The food served here is quite unique try their famous vegetarian walnut burger- whether you eat meat or not, it’s not to be missed!

5. Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry – Madison

A local radio show actually did pretty in-depth research and testing to find out that the best burgers in Madison are at Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry, and we’ve sussed the same thing. Even travellers on TripAdvisor agree. We suggest crafting your own burger. But, be sure not to forget to smother it all in one of Dotty’s special sauces.

6. The Oaks Golf Course

Want to build up an appetite before you eat? A round of golf at the oak will certainly do that!

They offer a variety of burgers, but a clear favourite is the classic BBQ Bacon Burger, served with sweet potato tater tots and coleslaw. Drooling yet?

7. Stack’d Burger Bar – Milwaukee

They place huge emphasis on sourcing the very best ingredients that are as local as possible. The end result? Some truly stunning burgers that along with their large selection of craft beer are make for a match made in heaven.

8. Brews Brothers Pub – Weston

Brews Brothers Pub is a hotspot for satisfying burgers. For a real treat, order their Jalapeno Popper burger. The juicy beef patty is covered with a sweet-yet-spicy 14 ingredient cream cheese sauce, with sautéed jalapeños and fried onions on top.

Wash it down with one of their 35 rotating craft beers on tap.

9. Bud Willman’s Hamburgers – Manitowoc

With a history of more than 60 years cooking up some of the tastiest burgers in Wisconsin, this homely burger joint keeps things simple, without going overboard on toppings for burgers that taste absolutely out of this world. Locals will declare it’s their favourite spot for a quick cheeseburger, and we can’t disagree.

Image: @motzburger

10. The Old Fashioned – Madison

According to locals and chefs in Wisconsin, their burgers are actually amazing, even though their menu only offers three to choose from. You won’t need more than three choices, as they all come served hot on toasted, buttered buns and are unique enough to keep you headed back for more.

11. Mickey-Lu Bar-B-Q – Marinette

Juicy, griddle smashed beef patties come between two fresh bakery buns, with pickles, onions and heaps of flavour. So it’s no wonder that this 1940s diner is so popular. They keep things nice and simple here, focusing on really good beef with simple toppings.

The end result? It is absolutely mouthwatering and well deserving to be among the best burgers

Image: @mattie.lamont1216

12. Anchor Bar – Superior

This unique, nautical themed bar and grill has been featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives for its incredible burgers. It’s a self-proclaimed ‘greasy spoon’ but there’s no denying the delicious food. There’s 19 different burgers to choose from, with toppings such as cashews and Swiss cheese to a hearty double bacon and cheese.

Image: @eatdrinkexploreduluth

13. Oscar’s Pub & Grill – Milwaukee

Oscar’s does wonderful Bloody Mary’s and some of the best wings in the country but the burgers really do steal the show.

They make their own patties and shape them daily for maximum freshness. The sort of place you’ll be staying for a couple of drinks after your meal, given their super friendly staff.

14. Solly’s Grille – Glendale

They do great subs, milkshakes and pancakes, but you come here for one reason and that is the burgers. Solly’s is famous for their bun that’s generously drenched in Wisconsin butter. Who could resist these beauties?

You will want to come with a serious appetite though, because the portions are huge. Seriously tasty burgers that are always super fresh.

15. Graze – Madison

We (and locals) love Graze because they not only serve some of the tastiest burgers in Madison, but they also cater to vegetarians. Their Graze Burger is nice and juicy, but their Pub Burger is a unique veggie burger that uses beets and walnuts as the base. Elegance and creativity are key here. For example, they use a caramelized onion-cabernet sauce for the Graze Burger. It’s bougie and delicious.

16. Kroll’s West – Green Bay

The locally famous “Kroll’s Hamburger” has been a must-eat dish in Green Bay since it was first served by Kroll’s more than 80 years ago. Even now, the family-owned restaurant is a firm favourite thanks to the flavoursome, chargrilled beef patties. Their secret topping? A little pat of butter on top of the patty for a melty, tasty bite.

Image: @tundratowngb

17. The Village Bar – Madison

The Village Bar has already been voted as having the best burger in Madison by its loyal local fans, but now we’re one upping it to say it’s one of the best burgers in Wisconsin. Order the Brick Burger with local Wisconsin cheese perfectly melted all over over tender patty.

18. Jennings & Co. – Wisconsin Rapids

Jennings & Co. is a popular brew pub that also has plenty of tempting bites to eat.

The blue cheese burger with Wisconsin bleu cheese, pickled red onions, peppered bacon, balsamic mayo & arugula on a toasted kaiser roll is divine, as is the ‘Hangover’, with jack and cheddar cheese, bacon, ham, red onion, jalapeños and a fried egg.

19. Merriment Social – Milwaukee

Eating here is all about enjoying their down to earth comfort food and enjoying life. A huge menu that is packed full of serious treats, but you’d be foolish to look beyond the burger.

Big, juicy patties with classic toppings served with wonderfully crisp french fries.

20. AJ Bombers – Milwaukee

Their burgers are super classic in style with the ability to choose between a single or a double patty. They load them up with bacon and cheese and pack them into their super fresh buns, which they bake fresh daily.

An absolute treat that you won’t forget in a hurry.

21. 7 West Taphouse – Superior

Ice cold beers and juicy burgers, what more you could you possibly need? The original Duluth location has now spread, and Superior locals are mighty lucky. Stop by the dig into a creative burger menu here. Think: burgers piled high with cheddar cheese, Applewood smoked bacon creamy BBQ sauce & fried onion rings.

22. Weary Traveler Freehouse – Madison

The most famous burger on the menu at this local Madison eatery is Bob’s Bad Breath Burger. It’s a juicy chunk of half-pound of ground beef that’s smothered, topped, and drizzled in ingredients such as Pickapeppa sauce and cream cheese. If that weren’t enough, you can also dip their delicious pan-fried potatoes in whatever sauce drips off your burger.

23. Fat Joe’s Bar & Grill – Fond du Lac

The droolworthy burgers at Fat Joe’s are super original in terms of a wide range of toppings, with something for everybody. Must-eats include the French Onion burger, which is topped with Swiss, beef demi glazed onion, and a beef consomme butter on a roast onion bun.

We will warn you that you’ll want everything on the menu and will have a hard time choosing!

24. Goodkind – Milwaukee

Goodkind serves up some of the most imaginative and exciting cooking in the entire state, matched up with their gorgeous cocktails.

Their toppings are never dull, including this “pizza burger” which has mozzarella and pepperoni toppings. Simply divine.

25. Heritage Tavern – Madison

One chef famously wrote that at Heritage Tavern, Wisconsin’s finest ingredients meet global inspiration and culinary excellence. After taking just one bite of the burgers here, we think you’ll agree. The burgers here are unpretentiously gourmet and always cooked to perfection.

Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

5. Bison Burgers with Cabernet Onions and Wisconsin Cheddar

Sick of feeling guilty every time you indulge in a satisfying burger? Get all the flavor without derailing your diet by opting for Epicurious’ bison version. Instead of going for tons of fatty sauces, this recipe gets plenty of moisture and flavor from wine-spiked onions and a little bit of mustard. These burgers are so healthy, you can even feel good about topping them off with some cheddar cheese.

One last nutritional consideration: iron. While most people think of beef when it comes to this nutrient, bison actually contains more. Iron is a key player in producing hemoglobin, which transports oxygen throughout our bodies. Without enough iron, you’d feel pretty wiped out.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cups sliced onions
  • ¾ cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine
  • 1 pound ground bison
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 6 ounces sliced Wisconsin white cheddar cheese or other cheddar
  • Dijon mustard
  • 1 small head of escarole, leaves separated

Directions : Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy medium skillet set over medium-high heat. Add onions, season with salt, and cook until tender and golden, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook until very tender and well browned, about 15 minutes longer. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Preheat broiler. Gently mix bison, shallots, salt, and thyme in a large bowl. Shape into four ½-inch-thick patties. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Season burgers with salt and pepper. Cook until well browned, about 2 minutes per side for medium rare.

Open buns and arrange, cut-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Place cheese slices on bun tops. Broil until cheese is melted and bottoms are lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Spread bottoms with mustard. Top each with escarole leaves, a burger, and onions. Cover with bun tops, press lightly, and serve.