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Unicorn Burgers

Ah, another day at Bugbear BBQ and another request on how to prepare unicorn, this time in burger form. Due to our decision to only serve ethically-sourced, non-sentient animals, coupled with our fear of divine retribution for slaying such a beloved beast, unicorns are decidedly off the menu at our restaurant.

Because to serve one is so obviously a sin.

However, as Oscar Wilde once said, “there is no sin except stupidity,” and since the subject comes up so very often, we thought we’d put out an intelligent recipe for Unicorn Burgers. One that is entirely hypothetical. Because we at Bugbear BBQ would NEVER associate with the despicable types of people who would actually eat unicorn. No, we’d rather pick their brains.

Sometimes literally.

The Cut

Now there are two major problems when it comes to preparing unicorn burgers. The first is, due to some jokers passing around pictures of supposed unicorn meat, that many people believe it to be filled with sparkles. This could not be further from the truth, though we believe we’ve tracked down the source of this misconception. It is that, being full of light and everything laudable, unicorn meat is actually marbled with rainbows. As such, a slab of unicorn is really a beautiful thing to behold, what with resplendent stripes of every color intermingled with delicious fat and flesh.

We believe this is why sparkles are added to cast off pegasus and horse meat, to give the illusion of rainbow-essence. But, as any elementary student can tell you, when you mingle all the colors together you actually get brown. So ground unicorn, of which all burgers are obviously made from, looks very similar to simple ground horse.

As such, the minute you see sparkles in your meat walk away and report the seller to the nearest constable. For the crime of stupidity if nothing else.

The Rub

The second issue that arises when preparing Unicorn Burgers is again that divine retribution for killing such a hallowed creature. While this can come in the obvious form of lightning strikes or a rampaging paladin bent on your destruction, another issue comes in the form of gastrointestinal discomfort, which can often lead to bad dreams. Alchemists generally believe this is due to the unicorns’ inherent ability to cure poison, which remains in their meat and affects those of darker alignment. You know, those that would dare to eat them.

As such, again as any elementary school student knows, you need to nullify that poison-curing, divine nature with poison; same as removing the acid from vinegar by adding it to basic baking soda.

This is accomplished by brining the unicorn meat in some type of poison. Cockatrice blood supposedly works great, as might belladonna or any other common herbal poison you’ve got around. The ratio is never a given though, and as such many pitmasters simply have their assistants taste the poisonous contents of the brine every few hours. If the assistant immediately dies, then the poison has yet to be fully counteracted, and this process should continue until the assistant survives and everyone knows the meat is good to eat.

Well, to cook with at least.

The Cook

We usually make our burgers from ground troll formed into ¼ pound patties (though we have been known to stuff them with bacon, cheese, and jalapenos on occasion), and would suggest doing the same with our hypothetical unicorn burgers. These are then placed in the smoker at 225 degrees, usually under our smoked hunks of troll so as to let them soak up any dripping juices.

Like all ground meat, the only suitable internal temperature for serving is 160 degrees, which should take about an hour, at which point we reverse sear the meat to get a delicious crust. Now savvy eaters will not that this temperature falls into the dreaded “well done” range, and is usually something we avoid. However, due to nasty microbes, this is the only safe temperature ground meat can be served at.

That said, since whoever is eating this unicorn burger is already risking divine retribution, we highly doubt that some tiny microbes are going to dissuade them. And if they’re willing to kill a unicorn and then demand you cook it to order, chances are you’ll end up on the plate next if you refuse. So it seems yet again that the customer is always right. Even when they’re wrong and order their meat medium to rare.

Sauces, Sides and Pairings

We at Bugbear BBQ cleave close to our roots and therefore only serve our burgers Texas-style. And to those out there that believe Texas-style somehow involves either a fried egg or BBQ sauce, let me quickly disabuse you of that notion. No, it means a slather of mustard, three sliced pickles, and a smattering of onions. Lettuce and tomatoes are decided on a case-by-case basis, and if a customer requests either catsup or mayo, we simply point them towards the exit.

Usually after a sharp slap.

As to sides, there is only one possible option when it comes to burgers, no matter what kind, and it is fries. The plain, potato variety. Anything else is an affront to the establishment.

As for a drink pairing, there is again only one option: A stout beer as dark and bitter as the sin you’re about to commit.

But again, there is no sin except stupidity, so eat smart and enjoy!

Note: This originally a guest post for the great Pete Sutton that I wanted to bring in house because I love collections. Photo credits


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MD Presley is a screenwriter, blogger and occasional novelist… which basically means he’s a layabout.  He has written two books on fantasy worldbuilding, and teaches worldbuilding techniques, tricks, and tips at Forging Fantasy Realms once a week on YouTube. 

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