Buffalo Burgers – Shea's Recipe

Buffalo was rare to non-existent from what we could tell in Ontario.  One of the specialty meat vendors in the Covent Market Garden told us that this was because Ontario didn't have the land to raise them like we did out west. 

Made sense to us but if you don't eat a lot of buffalo (yes, I know – properly bison in North America) you are missing out.  It's the best tasting meat and on top of that, healthier than pretty much any other meat including chicken, pork and fish (scroll down for the chart.) It's low fat, low cholesterol and low calories.  Most bison meat on the market is raised in the wild and organically grown because if there are two things buffalo don't like, it's pens and needles. <groan>

I'm very lucky that Shea's family are part-owners of a herd of about twenty buffalo so we get a regular supply (although our last supply had to be stolen right out of her brother's freezer when he wasn't home – don't tell!)  Any cut is good – roasts, steaks, etc. – but I have a special fondness for the plain old burgers because Shea makes them so that they're amazing.

Her recipe is flexible but here's the gist of it:


1 lb ground bison meat
10 soda crackers made into fine crumbs
1 egg
1 TBSP Montreal Steak Spice Rub (my mother-in-law taught me to put Tablespoon in capitals in recipes so it's obvious.  Great tip!)
1 TBSP Bullseye BBQ Sauce
Minced red onion to taste (a thick slice or two for us)
A few shakes of Worchestire sauce
A good few shakes of hot sauce (we're partial to Cholula Mexican hot sauce)
Salt and coarse ground pepper

The hardest part is getting the ingredients in proportion so the meat sticks well and doesn't fall apart on the grill but isn't too dry either. 
Cook on a barbeque and prepare to be amazed.  Seriously, when Shea made them the other night, I wolfed down one then another two without even using a bun or condiments.  (Er, I shouldn't admit that in public.)

Comments 5

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    The excuse that there isn't enough land to raise buffalo in Ontario is silly. There is a buffalo farm out on Wolf Island, which is just outside of Kingston. I mean, if a little island is big enough for a buffalo farm, I think there is more an enough room in other areas of Southern Ontario too. That's just my 2 cents, but I really don't know anything about buffalo farming. The buffalo farm on Wolf Island provides most of the buffalo meat to the local restaurants in Kingston and they also sell it at the farmer’s market. My favourite is the buffalo jerky and sausage.

    Posted 26 Mar 2007 at 10:52 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    Buffalo need a much bigger grazing area and so it's probably not exactly that there isn't enough land but that the amount of land they would need to raise buffalo is prohibitively expensive, especially in places like SW Ontario.
    Here's something I found – looks like there are a couple producers in SW Ontario including one in Chatham and one in St. Mary's by Stratford.
    Oh, lookie – following one of those links shows that the St. Mary's producer is in London every once in awhile:
    Covent Garden Market (Saturdays 8am to 1pm, May to the end of November) (519) 439-3921 | 130 King Street, London, Ontario
    Maybe those other meat stands just didn't want to let me know about the competition?

    Posted 27 Mar 2007 at 6:31 am
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    That meal look yummy!! hmmmm I miss buffalo meat. I know I'm from the east coast, and it's not a normal buffalo roaming area. However, we do have buffalo farms. I used to get buffalo burgers at the market on saturday mornings when I lived in Fredericton. I miss those!! Ah well, thanks for the recipe. And they do look really yummy! (I'm about 2 hours away from lunch, and I wouldn't mind having one of those right now! and will also be much better than my pizza pockets for lunch.)

    Posted 27 Mar 2007 at 2:11 pm
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    So, did you go out for a buffalo burger? How was it?

    Posted 27 Mar 2007 at 9:28 pm
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    Not so lucky. My coop is right next to Little Italy, so not too many chances for buffalo burgers here, but some great Italian food. I had some “homemade Sicilian Cannalone” (awsome desert- the guy at the counter said if you have one, I'll guarantee you'll be back for more. If it wasn't $2 a piece and I wouldn't gain like 40 pounds….I would agree, very delicious!), and also a nice pub called Pub Italia–has over 200 beers, and a good menu of italian food, and very gothic Italian decor. 🙂 However, I've only been there once 🙁
    Alas, I had my pizza pockets for lunch that day, but I will definetly check out the vendor in the Market in London.

    Posted 28 Mar 2007 at 12:59 pm

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