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A Totally Satisfying Cowboy Burger Recipe

You can make this tasty burger with bison or beef, and no, you don't actually need a 10-gallon hat to enjoy it!
A Totally Satisfying Cowboy Burger RecipeMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

We’re not afraid to admit when a fast-food joint has a good idea. The inspiration for this cowboy burger comes from a Carl’s Jr. classic, the Western Bacon Cheeseburger, a how-can-it-not-be-delicious commingling of beef, barbecue sauce, and fried onions. Problem is, the small version of Carl’s burger packs 750 calories and a full day’s worth of saturated fat. This version uses naturally lean bison and replaces the breaded onion rings with sweet grilled ones.

Nutrition: 460 calories, 22 g fat (11 g saturated), 850 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

2 lb ground bison or beef sirloin
1 medium red onion, sliced into 1/4″-thick rings and skewered with toothpicks
1/2 Tbsp finely ground coffee
1 tsp chipotle or ancho chile powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 slices sharp Cheddar
4 sesame buns, lightly toasted
6 strips bacon, cooked until crisp and halved
4 Tbsp classic barbecue sauce

How to Make It

  1. Gently form the beef into 4 patties, being careful not to overwork the meat. Let the patties rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the grill or grill pan over medium heat,
  3. Grill the onion slices, turning for about 10 minutes, until soft and lightly charred.
  4. Just before cooking the patties, season them on both sides with the coffee, chile powder, and salt and pepper. Grill the patties alongside the onions for about 4 minutes, until nicely browned.
  5. Flip, top with cheese, and continue grilling for 3 or 4 minutes longer, until the centers of the patties are firm but gently yielding to the touch and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a burger registers 135°F.
  6. Place the burgers on the bun bottoms, top with onions, bacon, and barbecue sauce.

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

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