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Monday, May 27, 2013

ChezCindy: Pride and Possessiveness: My best burger

Chez Cindy "Cab" Burger

A few years ago, my husband and I were attending a wedding reception for the daughter of our dear friends.  We were seated at a banquet table among others whom we did not know.  Casual table- talk turned to food, what else.  One of the couples who were also friends of our friends, began sharing an experience of the most wonderful burger the mother of the bride had made for them.  She was describing the burger, trying to remember the toppings, ingredients, etc.  I quickly realized, she was describing my burger recipe that I had just taught to our mutual friend.  It was the first time one of my recipes had made its way out and was being told back to me via third party.  My reaction was an odd mixed feeling of pride and possessiveness.  That was my recipe, but nobody knew it.  Kind of like when a parent shouts out at a sporting event,"That's my kid!".  It was a good feeling. 

This truly is the best burger.  Yes, many make this claim.  Once you try this recipe, you will know.  A red wine reduction sauce is mixed into the ground beef, keeping it moist; topped with caramelized onions and white cheddar for a great balance of flavor.  The bun is toasted with  rosemary butter.  Fresh sliced tomatoes are all this burger needs to make it complete. 

Chez Cindy "Cab" Burgers
1 1/2 pounds of ground chuck
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup chopped shallots
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons brown sugar

White cheddar cheese, grated 4 ounces

4 soft hamburger buns, potato or brioche
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary

Caramelized onions
Sliced tomatoes

Before you begin grilling the burgers, have all of your ingredients made ahead and ready to use.  The red wine reduction will need about 20 minutes to cook down.  The caramelized onions will need between 35-45 minutes.  Grate the cheese; slice the tomatoes.  Prepare the rosemary butter.    

Begin by making the red wine reduction.  Add the full bottle of wine to a large sauce pan.  Add in the chopped shallots.  Boil over high heat until the wine is reduced to roughly 1 cup.  Remove from heat, add in the butter and brown sugar.  Swirl to combine.  Set aside to cool. 

Make the caramelized onions (recipe below).

Combine the softened butter with the finely minced rosemary.  Set aside.

Place the ground chuck into a large bowl.  Add 4 tablespoons of the red wine shallot sauce; stir to combine.  Shape into 4 burgers, each weighing between 6-7 ounces.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Preheat the grill to medium high heat.  Place the burgers onto the grill; baste each with a teaspoon of the red wine reduction sauce.  (The left-over red wine reduction sauce can be frozen for future use.)  Grill the burgers for about 4 minutes on the first side.  Once you flip to side 2, top each burger with roughly 1 tablespoon of caramelized onions and cover with grated white cheddar cheese.  Close the lid of the grill to continue cooking and melting the cheese, about another 3 minutes.  This should bring the burgers to about medium doneness.  Remove the burgers to a tray, allowing to rest for a few minutes. 

Spread about 1/2 tablespoon of rosemary butter onto each bun.  Toast on the grill until lightly browned.  Remove and set aside. 

Place a prepared burger onto each toasted bottom bun.  Top each burger with sliced tomatoes and ketchup, or your favorite toppings.  Cover with the top bun and enjoy!

Caramelized Onions
2 large sweet onions
1 large red onion
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons white wine

Thinly slice the onions to equal about 4 cups. Working with a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter and oil.  Once the butter is melted, swirl to combine.  Add the sliced onions, salt and pepper.  Stir to coat the onion with the butter-oil.  After about 10 minutes on medium heat, turn the heat down to low.  Cook on low for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Turn off the heat.  Deglaze the pan by carefully adding in the white wine.  Stir to combine, bringing up any bits of browning from the bottom of the pan.   


Turn the heat back on to low.  Continue cooking until the onions are golden brown and have collapsed into soft strands, roughly 15-20 minutes.  Use right away or once cool, refrigerate for future use.   These onions are fantastic on burgers or chicken sandwiches.  Stir in to scrambled eggs or add to a quiche or omelet.  They freeze well and are quick to thaw. 


For even greater perfection, try grinding your own beef when making this burger.  See my earlier post to learn how to do this.  Search the word burger or grind.

 

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