Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Grilling Things

This time, for real! Remember a long time ago I made some burgers? And remember how I complained about having to make them inside because there was snow everywhere and I couldn't get to my barbecue? Now it's summer.

It's been summer for quite some time now, actually, and we've been using the grill a lot. We've grilled the standard burgers, but we've also branched out and tried pizzas on the grill, both rather successfully if I do say so myself. So here is the first of two posts about grilling!

First, burgers. You can pretty much do burgers with anything ground - beans, beef, turkey, chicken - as long as you bind it and flavour it well. These are beef burgers, but they have a special twist - caramelized onions. The onions are mixed into the burgers themselves, not just plopped on top like an afterthought. And the onions are not just boring old normal caramelized - they are caramelized in bacon fat. Mmmmm...

For 6 burgers, you need:

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp white sugar
6 slices of bacon, cut in half
1.5 cups breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tsp powdered mustard
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS HP sauce
1 TBS finely minced chives
1 tsp finely minced basil
1/2 tsp cinnamon (trust me, it's good)

1. In a skillet, preferably cast iron, cook the bacon slowly over low heat until it is crispy and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon and drain it on paper towels. Pour out all but 1 TBS of the fat and saute the onions over low with the sugar until they are golden brown and translucent - this takes a long time - like an hour - but it is worth it. Let the onions cool down until they are room temperature.

2. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together including the onions but not the bacon - that's for putting on your burgers later. I find your hands work best for this - just remember to take off any rings before you get all up in the beefiness. If you find that the mixture is too loose, add some more breadcrumbs.

3. With a plate at the ready, form the mixture into 6 patties. Make sure they are of even thickness so the edges don't get dry while the insides stay raw.

4. Heat up your grill and slap those patties on there. After flipping them once, you can top the patties with a couple of slices of cheese and those bacon slices you cooked a while back. Or you can brush them with barbecue sauce, or both! Top as you like - we had fresh tomatoes from the garden, lettuce, and the other customary accoutrements of burger-eating, like ketchup, mayo and mustard. There may have even been some pickles involved.

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