Labour Day, burger day

7 Sep

Labour Day gives us the last kick at the cat for summer long weekend burger barbecues.

We love our restaurant recipes down below, but this burger combines flavours from pub favourites. You can coast on this one all year round. We formed these into mini patties. The perfect mini bun to go with? In a pinch, hot dog buns sliced into thirds. Voila!

1 lb ground chicken

4 hot Italian sausages

1/3 cup either barbecue sauce, or Franks Red Hot Sauce blended with melted butter

Squeeze sausage out of casings and mix with chicken. Add sauce and gently mix together with your hands. Shape into patties (either six large or as many mini as you can stand making.) To prevent the burgers from puffing up, make a shallow depression using your thumb in the centre. We pan fry ours.

We have bathed our mini patties in extra doctored hot sauce to give them a buttery glaze. Just heat the combo (or barbecue sauce) in a sauce pan and take the patties in for a swim.

Other famous local burgers:

The Living Room

Unusual additions, such as miso, capers and sweet gherkins, give the burgers a complex, full flavour.

Servings: 4

1 egg

1/4 cup (50 mL) dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup (50 mL) finely chopped sweet gherkin pickles

2 shallots, finely chopped, or 1 small onion, grated

2 tbsp (25 mL) capers

2 tbsp (25 mL) light-colour miso

2 tbsp (25 mL) dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp (10 mL) minced gingerroot

2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh thyme

1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper

1 lb (500 g) lean ground beef

4 Onion or hamburger buns

2/3 cup (150 ml) crumbled blue cheese

Half small red onion, thinly sliced

In bowl, beat egg. Stir in bread crumbs, pickles, shallots, capers, miso, mustard, garlic, ginger, thyme, salt and pepper; mix in beef. Shape into four 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick patties. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Or layer between waxed paper in airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month; thaw in refrigerator.) Place patties on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and cook, turning once, until no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes. Cut buns in half; place, cut sides down, on grill and toast until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Layer burgers, blue cheese then red onion on bottoms; sandwich with tops.

Buchanan’s Burger

Buchanan’s uses lean Alberta AAA sirloin, coarsely ground, for their burgers.

3 lbs (1.5 kg) coarsely ground sirloin

1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt

1/2 tsp (2 mL) onion powder

1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground white pepper

1/4 tsp (1 mL) garlic powder

1/4 cup (50 mL) ketchup

1 egg, lightly beaten

Vegetable oil, to oil patties or grill

Cheddar slices

8 hamburger buns, sliced open and toasted

Burger sauce (recipe follows) Preheat barbecue to medium high. Break up ground sirloin in a large stainless steel or glass bowl. Thoroughly mix next four ingredients together in a small bowl and then mix into sirloin. Stir in ketchup thoroughly. Mix in egg, being careful not to over mix. Divide meat mixture into 8 equal portions and form into 1- to 1 1/4-inch-thick (2.5- to 3-cm-thick) patties. Spray patties or brush preheated grill with vegetable oil to prevent burgers from sticking. Cook patties on the preheated, covered grill for 5 minutes. Flip each patty with a spatula and/or a pair of tongs and cook 3 more minutes. Top each patty with cheddar slices and cook another 2 minutes, or until patties are cooked through. While burgers are cooking, spread burger sauce on toasted buns. Add cooked patties and your favourite toppings (e.g., cooked bacon, roasted onion) to buns. Serve straight from the barbecue. Serves 8.

Cook’s Notes: Ground meat should be kept as close to refrigerator temperature as possible until the patties are placed on the barbecue to cook. If you overmix the meat mixture when you add the egg, the meat will become gluey and stick to your hands when you form the patties.

Variation: Spicy Burgers. Add 1/2 tsp (2 mL) paprika, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) chili powder and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne to the salt, onion powder, white pepper and garlic powder, and set this seasoning mixture aside. Follow instructions for adding the ketchup and egg, but do not add any of the seasoning mixture yet. Form patties as directed; with a pair of tongs, dip raw, unseasoned patties into seasoning mixture to coat. Proceed as directed, but replace the cheddar with a medium jack-jalapeno cheese. The cooked patties will have a blackened crust. For an even crustier burger, cook them in a skillet (remember to either spray the patties with vegetable oil or brush the cooking surface with vegetable oil.) Burger Sauce Mix together equal parts mayonnaise, seeded mustard, sweet pickle relish and chili sauce. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.


The Fake Shack (or the Shack Burger at Home)
Posted by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt at A Hamburger Today

– makes 4 burgers –

8 ounces beef sirloin, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 ounces well-marbled beef chuck, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 ounces well-marbled beef brisket, fat cap intact, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 Martin’s Sandwich Rolls
4 tablespoons Shack Sauce (recipe follows)
4 leaves of green-leaf lettuce, clipped
8 center-cut slices ripe plum tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
4 slices yellow American cheese

1. Place feed shaft, blade, and 1/4-inch die of meat grinder in freezer until well-chilled. Meanwhile, place meat chunks on rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each piece and place in freezer for 10 minutes until meat is firm, but not frozen.

2. Combine meat in large bowl and toss to combine. Pass meat through grinder twice. Form into four disks, about 2-inches tall, and 2.5-inches wide. Refrigerate until ready for use.

3. Open buns but do not split hinge. Brush lightly with butter, then place under broiler or in toaster oven until golden brown, about 1 minute. Spread 1 tablespoon Shack Sauce on top half of each bun (for true authenticity, squirt out of squeeze bottle into three lines, three passes on each line). Place 1 leaf lettuce and 2 slices tomato on top half of each bun.

4. Using wadded-up paper towel, rub inside of heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet with vegetable oil, then place over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Season beef pucks on top side with salt and pepper, then place, seasoned side down, in skillet. Using back of heavy, flat spatula, press down on beef pucks firmly to form 4-inch round patties, being careful not to let it stick to bottom of spatula. Season top side with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp brown crust has formed, about 2-minutes.

5. Carefully scrape patties from skillet, and flip. Top each patty with 1 slice American cheese. Cook until cheese is melted, about 1 minute longer. Transfer patties to burger bun bottoms, close sandwiches, and serve.

Shack Sauce

– makes about 3/4 cup sauce –

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
4 slices kosher dill pickle
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
pinch cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth, scraping down sides of blender with rubber spatula as necessary.


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