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Black-headed Gull-ic "Birdger"

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

As part of a new series, we will be bringing "birdger" recipes to the Flocking Around blog. What is a birdger? It is a hamburger made from beef grazed on bird-friendly lands. Each birdger recipe is named after a bird, and today's recipe is brought to you by the Black-headed Gull.

Black-headed Gull-lic Birdger with a head of black garlic
Black-headed Gull-lic Birdger with a head of black garlic

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• Ground beef • Salt • Optional: 1 egg and/or breadcrumbs for hold and consistency • Ciabatta Rolls • Goat cheese or Mozzarella • Ripe Tomato • Avocado Mayo • Black garlic • Optional: Chili paste


The Meat

1. Mix ground beef in a bowl with some sprinkles of salt, and form into patties (make sure they fit the size of your buns!). Depending on your beef, you may need a binder to help form the patties. Mixing 1 egg into your beef and/or using breadcrumbs will help prevent the patties from falling apart and becoming taco meat.

2. Cook on your chosen heat source, to your desired doneness. I like my patties medium-rare and grilled, but you're in charge of your own birdger destiny.

The Bun

1. Find some (preferably fresh-baked) ciabatta rolls, check your local Baker, farmers market, or your grocery store's bakery section. If you're an overachiever, bake your own. Not everyone has the patience necessary to make a good ciabatta dough.

2. Slice your rolls in half the best you can.

3. Toast the rolls in a pan or on your grill till they are crispy and/or lightly charred on the bottoms.

(You can still make this recipe with gluten-free buns, lettuce wraps, pita pockets, pancakes, or anything else you'd like to pass off as a bun. Just please don't blame the recipe if your altered birdger doesn't taste good.)

The Toppings

1. Peel and mince the black garlic and mix with avocado mayo. Keep a roughly 2:1 ratio of mayo to garlic. If you are okay with a little spice, I recommend adding in a small dab of chili paste. Mix thoroughly and spread onto bottom bun (This is important, the order of how food is arranged can change the way you taste it)

2. Spread a thin layer of goat cheese over the garlic mayo on the bottom bun. (Again, I'm not crazy, it makes a difference)

3. Slice tomato into thin slices, 1 slice for each birdger. Place on top of patties.

Put all the pieces together and (hopefully) enjoy your birdger! Pair it with a side of french fries, a spinach, and vinaigrette salad, or just eat another birdger and say that was the side.

Toppings on your Black-headed Gull-ic Birdger
Toppings on your Black-headed Gull-ic Birdger

Enjoy your birdger!

A bite from the birdger with black garlic, mozzarella, and spinach on a ciabatta.
A bite from the birdger with black garlic, mozzarella, and spinach on a ciabatta.

More about the Bird-Friendly Lands

According to multiple studies, grassland bird populations have decreased by over 50% since 1970. Because the majority of grasslands are private lands, working with ranchers is the most realistic and effective method of helping grassland bird species.

Now, if you are a vegetarian we respect your choice. However, monoculture crops (like soybean) are not habitat for any species.

How this Benefits Birds

National Audubon Society engages ranchers by helping them to develop Habitat Management Plans that implement regenerative grazing and other bird conservation practices, such as controlling invasive species and native plant seeding.

This practice mimics America’s historic bison herds; regenerative grazing invigorates diverse plant communities and supports nutrient cycles that rebuild soil and conserve water. It even has the potential to remove carbon from the atmosphere and add enormous amounts of carbon to soil organic matter. The effectiveness of these practices is measured by monitoring bird diversity and abundance, vegetation change, and soil health.

Where is our Beef from?

We source our Flocking Around birdger beef from the Pronghorn Ranch in central Wyoming. This ranch is home to grassland species such as Sharp-tailed Grouse, Chestnut-collared Longspur, and Lark Bunting. Pronghorn Ranch was enrolled in the Conservation Ranching Initiative by Audubon Rockies.

Included in the mission of our ranch is the idea that good stewardship is important for the long-term financial health of the ranch, as well as the health of the sagebrush-grassland we manage. Partnering with Audubon to promote conservation ranching is an exciting opportunity to help educate the public about what we are doing to improve prairie ecosystems that are critical to many species of birds and other wildlife.
—Jay and Linda Butler, Owner Operators of the Audubon-certified, Pronghorn Ranch


Thank you for reading! If you want more bird-themed dishes in the future, SUBSCRIBE to our blog!

Zach is showing off gear and encouraging visitors to check out his favorite gear on his Amazon Associate page.
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