Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Really Big Burgers

Who doesn't love a mushroom & swiss burger?  (Don't answer if you don't.)  And what could be done to improve it? A lot.  How about bacon, crispy onion strings, and garlic aioli! Served on an onion bun, this burger was fit for a king!  Or a queen, for that matter.

I did a lot of research on the best way to season a hamburger patty, and I came to the same conclusion time and again. Just salt and pepper.  Sure, I love a burger with onion soup mix in it or barbecue sauce or A-1 and many other variations.  But a lot of chef recipes I looked at kept it simple. The flavors from the other condiments are where the bold moves should be. But the meat should taste like meat.  So I tried it, and it worked. Really well.  Paired with tender sauteed mushrooms, some thick-cut crispy bacon, baby swiss, and a creamy garlicky mayo, this burger was a big hit. And a big bite.  You'll probably need a knife and fork for this one.

What's your favorite burger patty seasoning?

1 1/2 lb ground beef, 80/20
Salt & pepper

1 onion, sliced paper thin
Seasoned salt (like Lawry's)
Cayenne pepper
Peanut oil

One 8-ounce package mushrooms, sliced
2 T butter
Olive oil
1/2 C white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper, to taste

1 C real mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste

1/2 lb thick-sliced bacon, cooked and drained
Swiss cheese slices
Onion buns

Mix the ground beef with salt and pepper to taste.  Shape into patties. You'll get about five patties.  Refrigerate for about an hour.

Soak the onion slices in enough buttermilk to cover and season with the seasoned salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Refrigerate at least an hour.

Mix the aioli ingredients together and refrigerate.

Preheat a small skillet to medium high heat.  Add in the butter to melt and drizzle in some olive oil.  Cook the mushrooms until browned. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add in the garlic.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until most of the liquid is gone.

Mix the flour and more seasoned salt and cayenne pepper together.  Heat some peanut oil in a large skillet to medium high heat.  Dredge the onion slices in the flour mixture and cook the onions in batches until crispy and browned.  Drain on a paper towel.

Grill the burgers over direct heat for 5-7 minutes per side or until done. Place the cheese slices on the meat and return to the grill just long enough to melt the cheese.

To assemble the burgers, spread the aioli on each side of the bun.  Top with a burger, the cooked mushrooms, bacon slices and onions.

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