With The Lion King remake coming out later this week, my blogger friends and I decided to highlight our recipes inspired by Disney’s 1994 animal kingdom classic. We’ll be getting to my recipe for The Mufasa Burger later on in this post. But first, let me link you to my friends’ posts.
Click here to skip to the recipe for The Mufasa Burger.
First up what better way to start our Pride Rock Potuck than with a spot of breakfast from Monica at the Popcorner Reviews.
Learn how to to make her Simba cinnamon toast here.
Next up we have Sarah from Geeks Who Eat with a recipe for creamy pecan pesto gnocchi “grubs” inspired by Timon and Pumbaa’s favorite flavors.
Learn how to makeTimon’s Pecan Pesto Grubs here.
More recipes to follow, in the meantime, let’s find out more about the dish I’m making today.
Pride Rock Potuck
So when I was researching The Lion King, I found out that the producers based their research in Kenya. Since many of the song lyrics and character names also make use of Swahili words, a language spoken in many countries along Africa’s east coast, it’s safe to assume that the film takes place in Kenya.
Kenya has a pretty interesting culinary history. The pastoral raising of cattle and goats began around 1000 AD when the northern Hima tribe introduced herding. By the 1600s groups like the Maasai and Turkana were eating livestock exclusively instead of wild game. In 1496, though, the Portuguese introduced new world items such as bananas, maize, and peppers, and Asian citrus fruits. The cuisine took yet another culinary turn later as the British imported Indian laborers introduced curries, chapattis, and chutneys.
I also then looked into the various wildlife and plants that thrive in the savanna. Lions’ most common prey (also pictured in the Lion King) include zebras, giraffes, pigs, cape buffalo, antelope, and wildebeests. As for the food that food eats, I managed to find several kinds of grass, including lemongrass and wild garlic. Melons also grow wild in this terrain.
With this research in mind, it was time to make the Mufasa of all burgers.
The Mufasa of Burgers
Why burgers? They’re pretty popular in contemporary Kenyan cuisine. Also, it’s far easier to find ground game meat than whole at the standard American grocery store. So that’s what I did. Since cape buffalo often finds its way onto Mufasa’s menu, I chose to blend some ground bison with 80/20 ground beef.
I then mixed in some lemongrass and fresh chives for a taste of the wild savanna grass. Then to recall Kenyan cuisine’s Indian influence, I also threw in some black cardamom and ground coriander.
Finally, I topped the whole lot with some swiss cheese and a “chutney” made of bananas, cantaloupe, honey, and more coriander and cardamom.
While I know you want to be a grill master, there is something uniquely delicious about a pan-seared burger. The meat cooks quickly and crisps up in its own fat while retaining a good shape for a large sesame seed-studded hamburger bun.
This recipe will make two doubledecker burgers for the king of beasts in you, or four if you’re ok with sharing. It’s up to you. Hakuna Matata.
If you would like some fries with that, though, the Aladdin-themed eggplant fries and date & pistachio ketchup recipes I posted recently pair very well with this dish.
Sing For Your Supper!
If you plan to cook the recipe off the site, keep scrolling. However, while access to recipes on the blog will always be free, I now have printable PDF recipe cards and thematic cook-along Spotify playlists as rewards for those who choose to support the blog.
The printable recipe cards and playlist for The Mufasa Burger will be available as a $2 donor reward on my Ko-Fi page until Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019, at 8 pm EST.
You can join my Patreon community at the “Sing for Your Supper” level ($1/month) for access to the playlists or the “It’s All in the Cards” level ($5/month) or higher for access to ALL of my blog recipe cards and playlists. Patrons of all reward tiers will even receive a welcome gift of my Lord of the Rings recipe cards and playlists from January to get you started.
Taste of the Pride Lands
The Mufasa Burger
Equipment: Two mixing bowls, stovetop, cast iron skillet, rubber spatula, grilling spatula, aluminum foil, cooking spray.
- 1 lb of 80/20 ground beef
- 12 oz. ground bison
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoon ground black cardamom
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 to 4 large sesame seed hamburger buns
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup diced cantaloupe
- 1 cup diced banana
- 4 slices of swiss cheese
- 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise
- kosher salt
- Stir the melon, banana, honey, and a 1/4 teaspoon each of the coriander and cardamom in one of the mixing bowls. Chill in the refrigerator until needed.
- Blend the beef and bison in the other mixing bowl. Fold in the lemongrass, chives, the remaining cardamom and coriander, and a few pinches of kosher salt. Use stabbing motions with the rubber spatula to loosen the mix.
- Heat the cast-iron skillet over a medium flame. Spray with cooking spray then add the hamburger buns, cut-side down when hot. Cook for a minute then transfer to a plate.
- Divide the meat blend into four loose portions. Scoop two parts onto the hot skillet and press each down with the grilling spatula until they are each wider than the hamburger buns. Season with more kosher salt and cook for two minutes.
- Flip the burgers and cook another two minutes. Transfer the patties to a different plate, top each with a slice of cheese, then cover with aluminum foil. Let melt at least one minute.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the remaining meat.
- Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the bottom half of each hamburger bun. Top with a burger patty (or two), then the melon mix, then top with the other half of the bun.