Food + Wine

A Burger Beginning

I’ve never posted a burger recipe before. It’s not because of a prejudice, or anything. No, no. I’m a burger-lovin’-gal. I make many different kinds of burgers at home all the time, and they’re all delicious but I’ve just never shared any of them until now. Frankly, I think burger recipes are silly. I think you can sum up a burger ‘recipe’ in a couple of sentences… ‘put this on it, a little of that on there, and mix these things together and eat.’ But I thought I’d step outside of that possibly odd idea and give you the recipe of the burger we had tonight.

When I make burgers at home, I actually season the meat itself, kinda like a meatloaf. That’s my personal preference, and I think it really makes a difference, especially if you like to use lean meat like I often do. The added ingredients in the lean meat will not only add more flavor, but more moisture to your patties. The simple trick I use when I’m feeling extra lazy is to just add a packet of onion soup/dip mix to the meat. I learned that from my mother, who I think got it from her grandmother, and that’s how my mom still makes meatloaf to this day. It’s a great trick, and I highly recommend it.

Now, about tonight’s burger. Yes, there are a lot of steps here, but most of them can be done ahead of time so don’t fret. Each step is worth it, trust me, because this burger is gooood.

*Burgers with Oven Dried Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese topped with a Roasted Garlic-Dijon Aioli
(recipe serves 4 adults)

(not the prettiest picture… I was too hungry to focus apparently)

Start with your Tomatoes, since they can take half a day if done right….
(Plan on 1 medium-large tomato per burger, per person)
-Slice the tomatoes about half an inch thick and coat each slice in balsamic vinegar, then extra virgin olive oil, then season each side with salt, pepper and sugar.
-Place the slices on a roasting rack positioned over a cookie sheet or something similar.

While the oven’s hot, go ahead and roast your Garlic too…

-In a piece of tin foil, drizzle some olive oil and place on it 1 bulb of garlic that you’ve trimmed the very top off of. Drizzle more oil on the exposed cloves and season with salt and pepper. Enclose the foil like a beggars purse, this can be placed straight on you oven rack.
-Cook both your tomatoes (and garlic) on 200 for at least four hours, but they can take six. You want the tomatoes to be shriveled and dried, and a little chewy. Set the tomatoes aside at room temperature until your burgers are ready to be assembled, and open your garlic purse and let it cool enough to touch.

For the ‘Aioli’…
-In a small food processor (if you have one), put about 1/3 cup of mayonnaise with the zest of 1 lemon, a squirt of dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste, and then squeeze your cooled bulb of garlic into the bowl until all the softened cloves come out.
-Pulse until well combined, check your seasoning. Keep covered in the fridge until burger assembly, (leftovers last for a couple weeks).

For the Onions…
-Slice 1 large onion into slices about 3/4 inch thick, keeping all the ring layers attached, and season each side with salt, pepper and sugar.
-Place in a large, hot skillet with extra virgin olive oil.
-Cook until caramelized and softened on each side, about a total of 5 minutes or so.
-Set aside until burger assembly, reserve the pan to cook the burgers in.

For the Burgers…
-In a medium bowl, place 1.5 lbs of your ground meat of choice (I like them all, and they would all work beautifully here)
-Add to that 1 packet of Onion Soup/Dip mix, 1 egg, a good squirt of dijon, a handful of finely chopped parsley, and a handful of plain breadcrumbs.
-Mix well with your hands (no other way) but don’t over mix or your burgers will be tough.
-Shape into desired sized patties (you can get 4 good sized burgers out of this amount) and cook in the same pan as you did your onions by searing on both sides and cooking through.

For the Burger Assembly…
-Toast your buns first. This makes a huge difference, and if you’re feelin’ extra saucy, butter them as well. A buttered, toasted burger bun will make any ordinary burger taste a heck of a lot better.
-Spread some aioli onto each half of your toasted bun, place your burger on one side. Top that with an onion slice, then 4-5 tomato slices, a fair amount of crumbled chevre goat cheese, then several fresh parsley leaves.

The parsley is great in this burger, it replaces the usual lettuce and adds a tremendous amount of flavor and freshness to each bite.

We always serve our burgers with oven-fries or chips, usually sweet potato. Here’s a link to my fool proof method for Crispy Oven Fries, you will never miss the fryer.

Because I use these TIPS, I was able to make this elegant burger and fry dinner tonight for only $5 and it will feed us for lunch tomorrow as well.

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  • Reply Tinky December 3, 2010 at 2:37 am

    GREAT flavor combinations! I'm a burger girl, too, and I'll definitely try at least part of this.

  • Reply Everyday Champagne December 5, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks Tinky!

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