Spicy Buffalo Burgers

By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.

Buffalo burgers are all the rage these days. Buffalo are pasture fed, and the burgers have a clean and hearty taste, as well as being extremely low in fat and high in iron. They should be served medium-rare or they will become dry. We’ve spiced things up with Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, and the cilantro adds freshness and color. Instead of serving the burgers on rolls, I like to lighten the carb-load and boost fiber by serving them over a bed of vibrant greens.

*Choose organic produce whenever possible*       

  • 1-2 tablespoons light olive oil, for greasing
  • ½-1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup pinto beans, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
  • 2 pounds ground buffalo
  • 4 slices Cheddar cheese, optional
  • 4 cups baby greens, spinach, or salad greens of your choice

Lightly grease a grill or cast-iron skillet with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. In a large bowl, combine the Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces, cilantro, salt, pepper, beans and onion. Taste to test the level of spiciness. Keep in mind that once it’s added to the meat and cooked, it will seem much less spicy. Fold the buffalo into the spices, beans and onion until it is evenly mixed. Divide the buffalo into 4 burgers about ½ inch thick. Cook over medium-high heat until medium-rare: 3 ½ minutes per side on the grill, 4 minutes per side in a skillet. Do not overcook! About 2 minutes before removing the burgers from the heat, place 1 cheese slice on each burger and cover the skillet or grill to melt the cheese. Divide the salad greens onto four serving plates and place a burger onto each bed of greens and serve. Serves 4.

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© 2010 by Stephen Sinatra, MD, Jim Punkre and Rebecca Bent. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from Bottom Line Books.

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