My Take on an Awesome Burger
My mother used to make the biggest burgers I knew when I was a kid, she just loved hamburger, I think she was ahead of us because she also ate the ground beef raw, it was like a beef tartar to her I guess! I never liked my hamburger meat raw but I knew to admire these burgers! My brothers all ate about 3-4 burgers each, 1 or 2 at the most filled me up. Life then was simpler, we ate our burgers with ketchup. We were a large family and it was how it went. The family grew more still and as we got older, we were introduced to a panoply of ingredients. In came relish, mustard, oooh the mayonnaise, the boys loved that, then it was the cheese, the thick cut onions, (my mother did not cut or slice anything thinly). When a Big Mac style sauce appeared on the table, the boys all but roared with pleasure. The constant in this was the size and thickness of her burgers.
For me, once married, hamburgers became a rare meal in my household, I only made them when I had to and though the kids always loved them, I seemed to have had my fill, but remained curious.
Then Food Network came along and Drivers, Diners and Dives with Guy Fieri, I discovered that burgers need not be boring, and there started my adventure with burgers.
Today I make burger patties out of beef, fish, turkey, chicken and pork, I am sure there is something else I can use, as I would love to expand my fun with them. I learned to use ricotta with turkey, not breadcrumbs, breadcrumbs can dry out the turkey meat, not ricotta, it also makes the patty gluten free. Those recipes and stories will come at a later time.
I have often dabbled slathering BBQ sauce over a patty to cook, the result is rarely that great, eventually, I stopped doing that, but taking a recipe from the cookbook “Cookin’ with Corky’s”, I saw this recipe for adding the BBQ sauce to the meat mixture, I wasn’t sure this would work that well as it would make the recipe wet, and wet and BBQ grills don’t mix well in my opinion.
I decided to create my own version of their recipe using The Keg’s BBQ sauce, and sprinkle them with my homemade BBQ rub before grilling, I also added other ingredients I happen to love in a patty. The burgers came out terrific! From the same cookbook, I created a BBQ rub that I loved, and make often to use on meat, eggs and in salad dressings. I will call it Richelle's BBQ Rub. I use that spice mix on everything, but not if you have special dietary restrictions, it is laden with salt and sugar.
DECADENT BEEF BURGERS
5 lbs. medium ground beef
1 c. finely diced onion
1 c. grated cheese (a hard cheese that doesn’t melt too easily is best)
1 c. BBQ sauce of choice (I use The Keg’s, yum)
1 tbsp. coarse salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
BBQ rub of choice (Or mine, see here)
Fine dice the onion and add to the meat in a large bowl.
Add the salt, pepper and BBQ sauce.
Form into approximately ¼ to 1/3 lb patties and place in the refrigerator for an hour if possible.
Prepare a dry rub or spice mixture of your choice, or use a store-bought one you like, ex: Montreal Steak Spice.
Get your grill as hot you can and oil it carefully, these are sticky patties!
Before grilling sprinkle with the spice rub and grill.
Note: Because of the cheese and BBQ sauce, the patties will char easily, so keep an eye on them.
Yield: 16 patties
At my house, 16 patties are what I usually use for one supper meal, of course, you can cut the recipe as needed for less patties.
Tip: From my darling daughter Felicity, she taught me this from her culinary classes, "to have pretty cross grill marks on your burger patty, do a quarter turn on them before turning them over", it works! It looks great and I really do that now.
I served these burgers with slices of mozzarella, arugula, horseradish mayo, my quick pickled cucumbers and a large slice of yellow onion, but they are delicious served any which way. Bon appétit!