Today is both Wyoming Day and National Escargot Day. While I don’t know for sure, it would be a safe bet that very few folks from the Cowboy State eat snails. Those are pests in their gardens and not delicacies for the table.
Wyoming is known as the Equality State, in that it was the first state to grant women equal rights. That said, Wyoming is also a rural state, with politically conservative views that tend to give Republicans a nod. The last Democrat Senator from Wyoming was in 1977, while in the House it was 1978.
Known as the Cowboy State, the government of Wyoming promotes ranching, key to the state’s economy. Most of the state’s cropland produces hay for livestock or wheat as Wyoming’s valuable export crop. The state’s main natural resources are natural gas, petroleum, then coal. Since Wyoming’s energy demands are less than that of other states, much of its energy is exported throughout the country. With an economy based on ranching and energy production, it’s no surprise that the folks who call Wyoming home tend to be conservative thinkers.
Even conservative thinkers can implement their share of weird laws that make you scratch your head. Wyoming isn’t except from weird. For example, in Cheyenne citizens may not shower on Wednesdays.
Rabbits cannot be photographed during the month of June.
It is illegal to fish with a firearm, so no shooting fish in a barrel.
And finally, with all that livestock, the fine for failing to close a gate is $750.00
When asked, the people of Wyoming attribute their happiness to four things. Friendly neighbors, cool weather, picturesque landscape and a strong belief in God.
Before we get to cooking, just a quick note about ground bison meat. Some markets carry ground bison meat in bulk rather than formed burger patties. Bison meat can also be found online. My personal favorite supplier is Wild Idea Buffalo Company out of South Dakota. I don’t know if it’s the best, but their approach to raising and butchering the bison is something I fully support. And for the record, I’m not associated with Wild Idea, nor do I receive any compensation. I just believe in supporting family run businesses with a strong moral compass whenever possible.
If you are unable to get the bison meat, that’s okay. Use a ground brisket or lean ground beef instead. Any way you grind it, these Cowboy Burgers are awesome.
Cowboy Bison Burgers
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons favorite Barbecue Sauce
In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and barbecue sauce. Taste, add more barbecue sauce as desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Crispy Onion Straws
1/2 cup Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Black Pepper to taste
1 medium Yellow Onion
Vegetable Oil for frying
In a resealable plastic bag, mix flour, salt and pepper.
Trim end from onion, leaving root end in tact to help hold onion together. Peel outer skin. With a mandolin or very sharp knife, cut onion into very thin rings. Separate rings, set aside.
Add oil to a deep fryer, large heavy skillet or saucepan, filling no more than 1/3 full with oil. Heat oil on medium-high heat.
Place onion rings into the bag of flour. Shake well to coat rings in flour. Carefully add onion rings to hot oil. Fry about 5 minutes, turning once to brown evenly, until rings are golden brown. Drain onions on paper towels. Set aside until ready to use.
Cowboy Bison Burgers
2 teaspoons Mesquite Seasoning
1/2 tablespoon Chili Powder
3/4 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1/2 lb Ground Bison
3/4 lb Ground Beef
1 large Dill Pickle
4 slices Cheddar Cheese
4 Kaiser Rolls
4 Lettuce Leaves
In a small bowl, mix together the Mesquite Seasoning, Chili Powder and brown sugar. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix together the ground meats. Shape meat into 4 patties. Coat surface of each patty evenly with the rub mixture. Set aside.
Slice dill pickle lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick spears. Set aside.
Heat grill to medium heat. Grill burgers for about 5 minutes per side or until cooked through while still slightly pink.
Add cheese to the burgers, close lid and let cheese melt, about a minute. Remove burgers from the grill, tent to keep warm.
Grill pickle slices for about 2 minutes per side or until grill marks appear. Toast rolls on the grill, open-side down, about 30 seconds.
To build the burgers, spread mayonnaise mixture on the bottom buns. Place lettuce on the bun, then the burger, grilled pickle and finally some of the onion straws. Spread barbecue mayonnaise on the top bun, place on top of the burger. Serve and enjoy.