Buffalo Burger


Serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 pounds ground buffalo
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 slices gruyere cheese
  • 1 green apple, cored
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 4 sesame seed buns, toasted
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 1 cup watercress, coarse stems removed



  1. Melt the butter in a small sauté pan and add onion and thyme.  Cook for 2 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
  2. Add red wine, and let reduce 5 minutes, or until almost dry.  Remove onions from heat and let cool completely.
  3. In a large bowl, knead together the buffalo meat and onion mixture.
  4. Shape meat into 4 even 8-ounce patties, about 1 inch thick.  Cover and refrigerate 15-30 minutes.
  5. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.
  6. Season burgers on both sides with salt and pepper.  Place in skillet and cook 4-5 minutes on one side.
  7. Flip burgers and cook 4 more minutes, or until meat reaches desired doneness.
  8. When burgers are almost done, add cheese and cover pan so that the cheese melts.
  9. Slice the apple into 8 slices.
  10. Melt the butter in a small sauté pan, and add apple slices.  Sprinkle with brown sugar, and let cook 3-5 minutes, until sugar caramelizes over apples.
  11. To assemble burgers, place 2 apple slices on the bottom bun, and top with tomato slice and ¼ cup watercress.  Add the burger patty and top bun.


    • Buffalo meat has 1/3 less calories and 2/3 less fat than beef.
    • Never season burger patties ahead of time, always add the salt and pepper right before grilling or sautéing, or it will dry out the burgers.
    • Have a small bowl of cold water handy when you shape your burger patties, as keeping your hands wet will keep the meat from sticking and result in more evenly shaped patties.
    • Chef Keller recommends cooking Buffalo burgers to medium rare, because it is lean meat and can get dry if overcooked.
    • Chef Keller recommends serving this Buffalo Burger with zucchini fries.