buffalo apple burgers with sage-jalapeño pesto

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buffalo apple burgers with sage-jalapeno pesto (1 of 1)-2

buffalo apple burgers with sage-jalapeno pesto (1 of 1)-24th of July is around the corner and it’s time to fire up the grill. Here’s a great burger recipe that celebrates the American West.  This is a lean mean tasty burger. I say lean because buffalo has 70 to 90% less fat compared to beef, and 50% less cholesterol. Buffalo is also leaner than both pork and chicken, and has fewer calories to boot. On top of that, buffalo is higher in protein, iron and all the omega and amino acids. We’ve been fans of buffalo meat for years, going back to the mid 90’s when we were introduced to our first buffalo burger at Joe’s Garage in Minneapolis. You can pick up buffalo pretty much at any grocery store or Whole Foods. Because buffalo is high in protein, it’s also very filling, so 1-pound is perfect for a family of 4.  We serve these burgers up on mini brioche buns and they’re the perfect size.

These burgers taste like comfort food, seriously, they’re full of flavor from the apple and sage burger patties to the sage-jalapeno pesto that tops them. Top them with a bit of smoked blue cheese, and you’re in for one gourmet burger that tastes like it should be a guilty pleasure, but isn’t. My kids loved the sage-jalapeno pesto, seriously. They were a bit reluctant to try it, but when they did they both agreed that it gave a certain “wow” factor to the burger.  My kids were not fans of the blue cheese, so instead we topped their burgers with some white cheddar. These burgers have been made 3 times in the past month, so you know they’re good.

buffalo apple burgers with sage-jalapeno pesto (1 of 1)-2

buffalo apple burgers with sage-jalapeño pesto:

recipe from the Gouda Life
makes 4 burgers

for the burgers:

  • 1 pound ground buffalo (also called bison)
  • 1 small apple, peeled and grated (see my note in the post below) – I used a fuji apple
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • smoked blue cheese (also called Blue Haze) to top the burgers – if you can’t find smoked blue cheese, a Danish blue will work well
  • mini Brioche buns

for the pesto:

  • 1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, cut into large pieces
  • 1 cup fresh sage, loosely packed
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan (optional, but tasty)
  • salt and pepper

Let’s first start off by making the buffalo patties. I always make the patties ahead of time, so when dinner time rolls around I can chill out a bit. Peel your apple and then grate your apple using the large hole side of a grater.  If you use the smaller holes to grate your apple, it will result in mush.

DSC_0018Rinse and mince up your sage.  To mince sage, I first roll up the leaves.

DSC_0019-2Then slice the sage into thin slices.

DSC_0021I then take the sage slices, gather them together and then finely mince them up.

DSC_0025In a medium bowl, gently combine (with a fork, spatula or gently with your hands) your ground buffalo, grated apple, 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar,1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1/2 tablespoon minced sage, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and some freshly ground pepper.

DSC_0026-3

DSC_0017-2Gently form the mixture into four patties. Don’t over-mix or you will have tougher burgers.

Tip: use your thumb to create a dimple or well in the center of the patty, as this will ensure the burgers cook evenly without plumping up. Start cooking the burgers indentation side up.
DSC_0019Cover the plate with tin foil and put them in the refrigerator, if storing the patties till dinner.

Now, let’s move onto the pesto!

 Wash, de-seed and chop up your jalapeño, measure out your sage leaves, peel your garlic clove and measure out the 1/4 cup of olive oil.

DSC_0043Get out a mini-prep or food processor and add in the chopped jalapeño, sage leaves, peeled garlic clove and 1/4 cup olive oil.

DSC_0046Process until smooth.

DSC_0026-2Add in the 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.  There you have it, easy pesto!

DSC_0030Store the pesto tightly covered in the refrigerator if not using right away.

Grill up your burgers, we tend to grill ours up 4-5 minutes per side, but if you like them on the rarer side, then grill them for less. It’s all about individual taste here.  I actually like using my cast-iron skillet to sautee up these burgers! It’s a super quick and easy way to cook up burgers if you don’t have a grill!

Toast up your brioche buns either on the grill or throw them under the broiler until they brown up. I always add a bit of butter to the bottom of the buns, so they brown up nicely!  

Top the bun with the burger, a nice slather of the pesto and a bit of blue cheese.

buffalo apple burgers with sage-jalapeno pesto (1 of 1)-2Here’s a burger that tastes like it should be guilty, but isn’t.

5 from 1 reviews
buffalo apple burgers with sage-jalapeño pesto
 
Serves: makes 4 burgers
Ingredients
for the burgers:
  • 1 pound ground buffalo (also called bison)
  • 1 small apple, peeled and grated (see my note below) - I used a fuji apple
  • ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon fresh sage, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • smoked blue cheese (also called Blue Haze) to top the burgers - if you can't find smoked blue cheese, a Danish blue will work well
  • mini Brioche buns
for the pesto:
  • 1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, cut into large pieces
  • 1 cup fresh sage, loosely packed
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan (optional, but tasty)
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Let's first start off by making the buffalo patties. I always make the patties ahead of time, so when dinner time rolls around I can chill out a bit. Peel your apple and then grate your apple using the large hole side of a grater. If you use the smaller holes to grate your apple, it will result in mush.
  2. Rinse and mince up your sage. To mince sage, I first roll up the leaves. Then slice the sage into thin slices.I then take the sage slices, gather them together and then finely mince them up.
  3. In a medium bowl, gently combine (with a fork, spatula or gently with your hands) your ground buffalo, grated apple, ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar,1 teaspoon dijon mustard, ½ tablespoon minced sage, ½ teaspoon sea salt and some freshly ground pepper.
  4. Gently form the mixture into four patties. Don't over-mix or you will have tougher burgers.
  5. Tip: use your thumb to create a dimple or well in the center of the patty, as this will ensure the burgers cook evenly without plumping up. Start cooking the burgers indentation side up.
  6. Cover the plate with tin foil and put them in the refrigerator, if storing the patties till dinner.
  7. Now, let's move onto the pesto!
  8. Wash, de-seed and chop up your jalapeño, measure out your sage leaves, peel your garlic clove and measure out the ¼ cup of olive oil.
  9. Get out a mini-prep or food processor and add in the chopped jalapeño, sage leaves, peeled garlic clove and ¼ cup olive oil.
  10. Process until smooth.
  11. Add in the 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. There you have it, easy pesto!
  12. Store the pesto tightly covered in the refrigerator if not using right away.
  13. Grill up your burgers, we tend to grill ours up 4-5 minutes per side, but if you like them on the rarer side, then grill them for less. It's all about individual taste here. I actually like using my cast-iron skillet to sautee up these burgers! It's a super quick and easy way to cook up burgers if you don't have a grill!
  14. Toast up your brioche buns either on the grill or throw them under the broiler until they brown up. I always add a bit of butter to the bottom of the buns, so they brown up nicely!
  15. Top the bun with the burger, a nice slather of the pesto and a bit of blue cheese.
  16. Here's a burger that tastes like it should be guilty, but isn't.
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  9. bananamondaes

    Loved the sound of the jalepeno pesto! Such a great idea. I’m making burgers tomorrow – my husband will love this. They’ve started selling buffalo in our local farmers market as well.

    1. Post
      Author
      jackiegrandy

      Yaay! Let me know how you both end up liking these. It’s one of our favorite burgers next to our favorite turkey burgers. They are both winners! Burgers and summer go together! 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

    1. Post
      Author
      jackiegrandy

      Thanks so much! I can’t wait to hear what you think when you make the burgers up for your family! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

  10. Sharon B.

    Mmm, I love burgers and this one looks so good with all the flavors! I love apple, blue cheese, jalapenos, AND sage – what a creative combo. The white cheddar would be a good sub for the blue cheese too if someone didn’t like it. I don’t think I’ve tried a buffalo burger before and if I did it was so long ago I don’t remember. I bet the apple adds more moisture to the lean buffalo. Yet another MM recipe I want to try! xoxo, Sharon

  11. angela @ another bite please

    your photos jackie are just beautiful…the sage rolled up just love that. And your tip for putting dent in the top of the burger i never knew that. i will admit i am not the burger maker/griller in our family i leave the grill to the hubby so i will make sure to pass this tip along to him. i’ve never cooked with bison before but have seen at our local health store…i am more along the lines with reba and would try with turkey…or even more that beautiful asparagus on the plate 😉

    1. Post
      Author
      jackiegrandy

      Hi Angela! I’m not the grill gal either. John does all the grilling. I once singed my eyebrows turning on the grill, so I’m a bit scared of it. Bison is not scary at all, unless you’re a person who’s not into red meat, and that I totally get. It’s really tasty and totally good for you! Sometimes I just need and crave red meat and this does it for me! Have a great day girl! xoxo, Jackie

  12. 2 sisters recipes

    Hey Jackie … apple , buffalo , sage in burgers ? Who knew these would be fabulous ? and with a pesto on top ? Oh My so ooooo mouthwatering!! On my goodness- we are coming to YOUR House for the 4th – so add a couple more plates !!

    1. Post
      Author
      jackiegrandy

      Hey gals! I know, who knew, but they taste amazing together. I was so glad I stumbled on this recipe. I’m actually not cooking for the 4th, believe it or not! Friends are having us over for dinner, I’m just in charge of bringing my skillet cookie 🙂

  13. wendymckinley

    I am going to make this tonight but with ground Turkey, I’ll let you know how that works. Its supposed to stop raining around 4 so we should be able to grill.

    1. Post
      Author
      jackiegrandy

      Hey girl! Yes, please let me know how they turn out using turkey meat. I hope this weather clears up! 🙂

    1. Post
      Author
      jackiegrandy

      I think ground turkey would be great! My friend Wendy is going to try using turkey tonight, (if this rain ever clears) so I will let you know how it turns out. I typically don’t freeze my burgers, as we always just eat them when I cook them up. You could always half the recipe if your concerned with it making too much. The original recipe called for 2 pounds of ground bison and I halved the whole thing as 2 pounds is just too much for 4 people. xoxo, Jackie

  14. Anonymous

    Fantastic burger recipe! I’ve been meaning to try buffalo for a while now – simply delicious looking. Thanks for your comment – we planted the nasturtiums mainly because they are gorgeous to look at and have great sentimental value for me as my mum grew them in the garden in England where I grew up. Then we realized we could eat them and how great they are for you – it’s so fun!
    Mary x

    1. Post
      Author
      jackiegrandy

      Hi Mary! I knew it was you when you spoke of the flowers. Try buffalo, you and your girls will love it and they probably won’t be able to tell the difference between buffalo and ground beef. How cool is it that you planted the flowers for their beauty and now you find that they’re also nutritious to eat as well. It’s a win win! xoxo, Jackie

    1. Post
      Author
      jackiegrandy

      They are really tasty girl! I heard that Joe’s Garage was going to reopen this summer! Fingers crossed! xoxo, Jackie

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