Moose Burgers on Bannock Buns
These smokey moose burgers have bacon ground in with the moose meat, are stuffed with ramp (wild leek) butter, seasoned with spruce salt, topped with cranberry ketchup and sautéed chanterelles, and served on special bannock (traditional First Nations bread) buns! Employ one or all of the wild elements above to turn your ground moose into an epic treat! The cranberry ketchup recipe will make more than you need. It will keep in the fridge for 1 month.
For the Cranberry Ketchup
- 340 g cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 375 ml water
- 125 ml white sugar
- 125 ml maple or cider vinegar
- 4 g kosher salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 allspice berries
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 g peppercorns
For the Bannock Buns
- 240 g all-purpose flour
- 16 g baking powder
- 2 g kosher salt
- 12 g white sugar
- 177 ml warm water
- 60 ml melted duck fat or butter
For the Burgers
- 900 g ground moose meat
- 6 pieces bacon
- 4 knobs ramp butter (optional)
- 1 tbs mushroom powder (optional)
- Kosher or spruce salt (salt made with spruce tree tips)
- 30 ml duck fat or oil
- 2 cup roughly chopped chanterelle mushrooms (or other wild mushrooms)
- For the Cranberry Sauce: Add cranberries, chopped onion, and the water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Lower to a strong simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Let cool. Transfer to blender, or use hand blender, and blend on high until smooth. Return the liquid to the pot. Add the sugar, vinegar, and spices (you can wrap the spices in cheesecloth to make retrieving them easier, or fish them out later with a slotted spoon or sieve) and bring to a low simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring regularly, or until the consistency matches that of store bought ketchup. Strain out the spices, (you can discard them) and let cool.
- For the Bannock Buns: Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C, gas mark 6). Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar to a large bowl and mix well. Slowly stir in the water and duck fat, using a wood spoon, then eventually switching to your hands. Gently form the dough into a smooth ball. Separate the ball into 4 even pieces and shape those into bun shapes. Transfer them to a greased cookie sheet and put them in the oven for 20 minutes. Let cool. When ready for the burgers, carefully slice in half with a serrated bread knife.
- For the Burgers: Grind the moose meat and bacon through a medium grinding plate. If your moose is already ground, you can finely mince the bacon and add it like that. Very gently mix the mushroom powder into the moose meat (if using). This will add lots of flavour and umami. Form 4 large patties, each around a knob of ramp butter (if using – ramps are wild leeks that can be chopped and mixed with butter to form a delicious compound butter). I keep my ramp butter in the freezer, so I just chopped 4 pieces off and wrapped the burger meat around them. Doing this leads to the butter melting as the meat cooks and adding lots of flavour and juiciness.
- Add the duck fat to a large cast iron or steel pan over medium heat. Add the chanterelles and cook for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Increase heat to high and add the burger patties to the pan. Season the top side with a generous amount of spruce salt (or kosher salt). Sear for 2 minutes, then lower the heat back to medium high. Cook, flipping (season the other side with spruce salt as well), until both sides are a dark golden brown and done to your liking. I like my burgers to be about 145°F on the inside, for just a touch of pink.
- To serve, slice the bannock buns in half and top the bottom half with a patty. Top the patty with lots of cranberry ketchup and 1/4 of the sautéed chanterelles. Add the top bun. Enjoy!