Edible Bozeman

Cowgirl Meat Co. Bison Smash Burgers

Jaimie Stoltzfus shares her secret to a perfect bison smash burger: It’s either the Flathead cherry bacon jam or the crispy edges of a perfectly smashed burger—unless you are a cheese lover, then it’s the brie.


For the Flathead cherry bacon jam

8 slices Cowgirl Meat Co. bacon
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup finely diced cherries
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup apple cider vinegar

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat on a grill or smoker. Cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan (leave the grease), add the onions, and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and a small pinch of salt, then cook until fragrant. Add the cherries, syrup, and vinegar. Cook, stirring continuously, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the cooked bacon back to the mixture, stir, then remove contents to a bowl to cool.

For the burgers

3 tablespoons butter
1 pound ground bison
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Oil for the pan
6 ounces brie cheese, cut into thin slices
4 hamburger buns
Flathead cherry bacon jam

Clean the cast-iron skillet and return to grill over medium direct heat. Melt the butter and mix it into the raw bison meat. Divide the bison into 4 equal parts and roll them into loose balls. Season with salt and pepper. Lightly oil the pan and place the burgers on it. Once juices start to pool around the burger, use a smash-burger press or large metal spatula to smash the burger until it is super thin (see Note). Season with more salt and pepper. Once you see juices pooling on the meat, flip the burger.

Add brie slices to each patty and cook until just softened. Remove from the grill.

Build the burgers by topping the bottom bun with a burger patty and covering it with the cherry bacon jam and arugula. Enjoy!


The thinner the burger is smashed, the crispier the edges. The crispier the edges, the smashier the taste, because it’s the crispy bits that make a smash burger so singular and delicious. So, be sure to really smash that burger.

Wine Pairing

2020 Früg-Zweigelt

This classic Austrian organic red wine complements Jaimie Stoltzfus’s bison smash burgers. Fruity, figgy, and super juicy, it’s a fun match with the burger’s brie and Flathead cherry bacon jam.


Recommendation by Anastasia Jermolaewa and Nick Shore, owners of Mischa’s. Mischa’s opened last September on the north side of town and is one of Bozeman’s newest specialty fine-food and natural wine stores. Their wines are organic or low-intervention and the food they offer is carefully curated and every bit delicious. Anastasia Jermolaewa and Nick Shore are intent on delivering exceptional wine from small-scale, independent producers relying on vineyards that are sustainable, organic, or biodynamic. These wines are fermented with native yeasts and have no additives.

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