True Bleu Buffalo Burger with Celery Slaw

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.

The inspiration for this recipe came from my love of the classic flavors of a spicy buffalo chicken wing but also from growing up in the Midwest where bison ranching is common. Why not bring together the best of both worlds.


2¼ pounds coarse ground bison, 90% lean, 10% fat
5 ounces crumbled bleu cheese
2 tablespoons Franks Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
2 ½ ounces crumbled bleu cheese
1 ½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups shredded celery
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
Non-stick cooking spray
1 cup Franks Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 onion rolls


Add ground bison, bleu cheese (5 oz.), pepper sauce and black pepper to a large mixing bowl. Gently stir ingredients with a cold spatula until an even mixture has been achieved. Form six evenly sized, round patties about ¾ of an inch thick.

Thoroughly whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, bleu cheese (2 ½ oz.), white wine vinegar, garlic powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Use the grating blade on a food processor to shred four or five celery stalks, place 1 ½ cups of them into a bowl lined with two paper towels. Let this sit for about ten minutes to drain excess moisture. Thinly slice about ¼ of a medium red onion to yield ¼ cup. Combine the onions and the celery and set aside.

Spray a 500 degree F grill with non-stick cooking spray and place the six burgers on the grate. Brush each burger with about one tablespoon of pepper sauce and close the grill. After five minutes, gently flip the burgers and again brush each burger with about one tablespoon of pepper sauce. Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the patties, remove them when they have reached a temperature of 145 degrees F in the middle of the thickest part of the burger. Cover the burgers with foil and allow them to rest for five minutes.

Butter each bun with about one tablespoon of butter. Place the buns on the grill, buttered side down, and close the grill. Check the buns after three minutes and remove them when the buttered side has turned golden brown.

Place a burger onto the bottom half of the bun and top with about 1/6 of the celery slaw. Spread about 1 ½ tablespoons of bleu cheese dressing onto the top portion of the bun, close and serve.