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A Market-Fresh BBQ, Part 3: Goat Cheese-Stuffed Bison Burger

A bison burger stuffed with goat cheese is the main course for the Whistle Stop food challenge.

Editor's Note: Four food-loving writers have accepted a challenge: To cook a complete summer BBQ using ingredients from Whistle Stop, the local Tuesday farmers market. So far, we've filled you up with veggie sides galore, a summery pasta salad and zesty corn and black bean salsa. Now we're serving the main course. Save room for tomorrow: grilled peaches three ways. 

Cheese-Stuffed Bison Burger

1 lb of Anderson Meats ground bison (for three to four burgers)

1 shallot

1 1/2 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce

1 fresh egg

Fresh chives

1 small disk of goat cheese, about an inch in diameter (goat gouda for a more stable burger or creamier soft goat cheese for a richer taste)

Buns

Standard burger dressings: tomato, Vidalia onion and lettuce.

Optional, but highly recommended, a jar of Vidalia onion relish from Bleu House Market

Directions: 

The construction of the patty is meant to be simple and dirty, no need to over think it. Start by finely mincing your shallot and maybe 10 sprigs of chives. The shallot will impart its moisture and unique flavor into the meat while its on the grill, helping to prevent your burger from drying out - bison is very lean.

In a large mixing bowl add your ground bison, egg, chives, shallots and Worcestershire sauce. There is no way around using your hands to mix the ingredients together, no other tool does the job quite as efficiently. Very quickly, you will hand a homogeneous mixture that is ready to be shaped into a burger.

Portion the meat evenly into the amount of patties you will be making so you do not end up with two belly-buster burgers and not enough left over to make a burger fit for a mouse.

Take half of a portion and flatten it out in the palm of your hand. Add a wedge of goat cheese to the center and then squeeze the remaining half of a portion on top. Pinch the edges around the cheese like a ravioli to make sure the meat will not separate while it is cooking. Flatten the burger out so that the heat will reach the cheese quickly.

After making your patties, place them on a hot grill. When you can no longer see pink on the edges, flip the burger and let it cook for another five minutes. Feel free to check the doneness. 

The assembly is up to the diner, but I recommend putting the relish on the bottom bun, followed by the burger, then onion, lettuce and tomato. That order seems to give it the most structural integrity. Consume before the cheese can cool down, the gooier the better.

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