It's no secret that Brian Poe is obsessed with lesser-used meats, and now that he's running the show at the newly revamped Inman Square location of Bukowski Tavern, a fair amount of game has popped up on the menu, especially in the burger section. Care for antelope, bison, or elk? Maybe even yak?
In honor of Burger Week, Poe demonstrated the making of his elk burger, which comes topped with grilled mushrooms, brie cheese, cured tomato, and a witbier mustard — which is a mustard in the style of a witbier, in this case, rather than a mustard that contains beer. (It includes orange zest and orange juice to mimic the citrus notes of a witbier.)
When coming up with the recipes for his game burgers, Poe likes to consider where the animal comes from and what it eats. Since an elk eats small shrubs, mushrooms, and the like, Poe chose to season the meat with ingredients like rosemary and coriander, along with onions, garlic, shallots, and peppercorn. "If I was out walking in the forest and saw an elk," Poe says, "this is what I'd be smelling." Plus, the burger is topped with a pile of grilled maitake mushrooms.
The cured tomatoes, which are seasoned with olive oil, coriander, pepper, and salt, are dehydrated for six to seven hours and give an "acidic pop" to the burger. Meanwhile, the brie (Saint-André triple crème) is meant to add a bit of "farmyard funk." ("My weakness in life is brie cheese," noted Poe.)
"I never knew I'd have this much fun with burgers," Poe said.