I recently visited Ye Ole Butcher Shop in Plano, TX (see review here) and had one of the best burgers I’ve ever tasted. It was a buffalo burger and it had a wonderful yet undefinable taste that I wanting to recreate at home. The Butcher Shop also sold buffalo meat by the pound so I went there last week to pick up a couple of pounds of buffalo meat. While I was there I also got 2 pounds of elk meat to be able to make a more comprehensive tasting.
The meat was frozen when I got it so after 2 days in the fridge it was finally time to make the burgers.
Both meats were very dark red and very lean. They were impossible to tell apart just from the look at the meat, so I was very careful to hold them separated during the entire cooking process. I used separate pans, plates etc to make absolutely sure I didn’t mixed them up.
The elk meat had a sweeter smell to it than the buffalo meat, but other than that they were very similar during the whole process.
I cooked the burgers to medium and let them rest a few minutes. I added only buns, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo and a little ketchup to make sure to be able to taste the meat.
The buffalo burger had a distinct liver taste and it was so unpleasant that I was unable to have more than a few bites. The elk burger had no distinct taste whatsoever. I mean that in a bad way, because you would expect a burger to taste good and this elk burger just didn’t taste of anything at all.
I was wondering what to do now and recalled that the buffalo burger I had at the Butcher shop was actually well done, so I took my patties and returned them to the pan and cooked them a few more minutes on each side until they were well done.
The taste improved after this, but not dramatically. It was quite disappointing. The meats were just not improving the burgers at all and my conclusion must be that the Butcher Shop adds some secret spice or sauce to make them taste so good.
So, don’t go out and get buffalo or elk meat for burger. I am sure it can taste good if prepared other ways, but not as burgers. I will go and find out what their secret is and report back to you.