Native American Black Pepper Buffalo Burgers with Sage Honey Butter and Cranberry, Sun-dried Tomato Compote



Sage Honey Butter:

1 cup (8 ounces) sweet cream butter, cold, cut into large pieces
2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage leaves
1/4 cup chopped green onions, including tops (about 2 medium)
4 tablespoons honey

Cranberry, Sun-dried tomato compote:

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped green onions, including tops (about 3 medium)
1 cup Sutter Home White Merlot Wine
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt


2 pounds lean ground buffalo meat
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coarse ground black pepper

Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 Kaiser rolls, split




Preheat the gas grill to medium-high.

To make the sage honey butter, combine the butter, sage, green onions and honey in the bowl of a food processor with blade attached. Pulse for 5 to 7 seconds. Stop and scrape down sides. Pulse an additional 10 to 15 seconds or until mixture looks nice and smooth. Remove butter mixture and wrap in plastic wrap, roll into a 1 1/2 inch cylinder. Freeze until ready to use.

To make cranberry, sun-dried tomato compote, combine the cranberries, sun-dried tomatoes, green onions, Sutter Home White Merlot Wine, honey and salt into a 2 quart heavy fire-proof saucepan. Place on the grill rack and cook, stirring occasionally until wine evaporates and no liquid is left in pan, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Set the compote aside.

To make the patties, combine the ground buffalo with the salt, handling the buffalo as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the ground buffalo into large balls. Remove the sage honey butter from the freezer and cut in half. Rewrap 1/2 and set aside to thaw for spreading on the buns). Cut the remaining 1/2 of the butter mixture into 6 equal portions. Make a depression in the center of each buffalo ball. Place a frozen portion of sage honey butter into each ball and carefully seal inside. Shape into patties about 1 1/2 inches thick, taking care to keep the butter sealed. Spread the pepper on a plate and lightly press each side of the patties into the pepper, so that each side of the patties are coated.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once, just until done, about 5 to 6 minutes each side. During the last few minutes of cooking place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread the remaining sage honey butter to the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom add a patty and top with the cranberry, sun-dried tomato compote. Add the roll tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 13 to 16 minutes