Burgers for The Boys

We all needed a little break from the soups and I needed something I could make fast so I choose burgers. Let me qualify what I mean by fast: any meal that can be made is 45 minutes or less. I just can’t get the hang of Rachel’s 30 minute meals and I am certain that I am not the only one who struggles to make fast, tasty and nutritious food at home!

Let’s get to it!! I used a mix of ground lamb and beef but I went heavier on the lamb using a full pound and only about 1/4 pound of the beef. Feel free to use whatever meats you like but the toppings and sides I am going to talk about here are more for the lamb. *We will be talking more about burgers later because we are big fans and I will talk about other sauces and sides then.* I combined all my meat into a bowl and sort of mashed it together so they could get all friendly with each other and to my mess of ground meats I added a package of seasoning mix as well as the regular players salt, pepper, garlic and shallot powder. I didn’t use much salt because the packaged seasoning mix had sooooo darn much in it already. I also forgot to taste the pouch of stuff before I poured it over so I had to use my little finger to swipe thru the sauce that was on top of the raw meats!  And it was a good thing I did because that sauce has a little bit of heat to it and it made me realize that I had to make a sauce for the buns that would cut a little bit of that and I had to try to tone it down in the meat so that it wasn’t burney  and to that end I used about 3 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar for sweetness. A complete side note here is that I had the baby taste the sauce and she said it was “very smokey” so it is most likely that the heat that I am talking about is more of a smokiness than a pepperiness.

Time for a little confession, I hate the feel of raw ground meat so I have come up with ways that minimize my touching of it. I wear gloves and use a patty shaping gadget that is actually intended for making stuffed patties but can make regular ones. I also know that the patties will shrink when cooking so I tried to make them as big as the bun so they wouldn’t be asking where the meat is!

Using my device and the power of my eyeballing skills I made 4 patties that were just about identical and set them aside to collect themselves while I carried on with the sauces. Lamb can be heavy and the mix I put in the meats had some pepper type of heat to it so I wanted a light and bright sauce that wasn’t just regular mayo so I went for the sour cream for the light, dijon mustard for the bright, garlic aioli for the salt and garlic and fresh dill for a bit of crispness.

  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons garlic aioli
  • About a tablespoon of fresh dill
  • Mix well and taste. It should be a nice mix of the 3 things, just enough of a taste of each. Keep in mind that the rest of the burger is going to be salty so this sauce doesn’t need any extra added

 

Now lets talk about a crispy topping. I got a package of Broccoli Slaw that is a mix of broccoli stalks, carrots and purple cabbage and a package of Shredded Iceberg Lettuce, I took about a cup of each and mixed them up in a bowl and dressed them with red wine and apple cider vinegar, a pinch of salt, pepper and garlic powder and more of the fresh dill.

  • 1 cup Broccoli slaw
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons of Red Wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Apple Cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rough chopped fresh dill-just the fronds, the stems are bitter
  • 1/8 teaspoon each: salt, pepper and garlic powder. Yes, a pinch is roughly equal to 1/8 teaspoon!
  • Toss and taste. If it’s too salty add just a smidge of Olive/Grapeseed/Vegetable Oil. No, I don’t have an exact measurement for smidge but to me it’s anything less than a teaspoon

So far we have completed the bun sauce, slaw and patties so let’s slice the potatoes for the “chips”. I used the mandolin set to medium slices but that was too thick and they took a full hour to cook so I recommend using the thin slice option. If a mandolin wasn’t one of those wedding gifts that languishes in the back of the cupboard then you need to pause reading this, open a new browser tab and go to Walmart.com and order what they call a 4Pc Mandolin Slicer, best 20 bucks you will spend this week!!

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After you slice the taters get a sheet tray, baking rack, oil, salt and pepper. The baking rack is going on the sheet pan and the taters are going on the rack in a single layer. Once you have the “chips” all lined out drizzle some oil over top of them, sprinkle with the salt and pepper and put into the oven on 350. We already discussed how mine took an hour but they really shouldn’t take that long. So after 10 or 15 minutes check on them, they should be starting to brown on the top side and if they are then flip them over and bake for another 10 or 15 minutes. If they haven’t started to brown and are still raw looking then leave them but if you have not yet brown but definitely not raw then go ahead and flip them and let them cook a few extra minutes past the 10 or 15.

While the chips are baking let’s make some dip! I love dip, I would marry dip if I wasn’t already married to one of the greatest guys ever so we are just having a very tawdry, very public love affair. The hubs likes ketchup, which is probably my least favorite dip ever, so I mixed about 1/4 cup of that bland condiment  with about 2 teaspoons of A-1 which is one of the best dips ever. (Yes, I know A-1 calls itself a sauce and the people call it a condiment but I call it a dip because that is what I use it as)  I wanted to make a dip that I would like so I mixed  1/4 cup of mayo with about 3 teaspoons of dijon mustard and added 2  pinches of my fancy black garlic, 1 pinch of Ancho Chili powder and about 2 tablespoons of the fresh dill.

Fancy Ketchup v.1

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons A-1

My Dip v.1

  • 1/4 cup mayonase
  • 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ancho Chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill

While I was planning this burger in my head I knew I wanted to go heavy with the lamb but I couldn’t decide on how to season and top them. Just 3 weeks ago The Boys had Greek tacos that had all the traditional seasonings and toppings and sides so I didn’t really want to go Greek with the burgers. I had the seasoning packet that was Sweet Mesquite and Caramelized Onion so I decided to play off of that with a whiskey caramelized onion topping. I only had one sweet onion so I also added some shallots but I cooked ’em different. For the sweet onion I thin sliced into half moons and cooked them down in butter, rosemary and roasted garlic oil, dried dill, salt, granulated garlic and shallot powder. For the shallots I made the slices a little thicker and cooked them in the oils and schmutz left over from cooking the onion and added 2 splashes of balsamic vinegar. Once all the onions were cooked I should have mixed them together and and done another whiskey glaze but I was pressed for time.

I did the Sweet onion first and once they were just starting to brown I turned up the heat to get a good sizzle and added the whiskey to deglaze the pan and flavor the onions. Give the booze a few minutes to cook off and taste. This is the best place to adjust the seasonings. After you have tasted and adjusted skim out the onions and leave as much juice in the pan as possible because it is already seasoned and we are about to make the shallots. I am only using both because the onion cooked down so much that I was worried there wouldn’t be enough for 4 burgers and the addition of the balsamic vinegar will help make up for the shallots not being as sweet at the onion and to tie in with what we added to the meat. After all of this I feel like we should totally have separate conversations about caramelizing onions and flavor tie ins so we will but for now back to the task at hand. Do the same things with the shallots that you did with the onions, let them cook down and get sexy only this time they get 2 glazes. Once they are sexy up the heat to sizzle and add a couple of splashes of whiskey and let that cook down for 3 or 4 minutes until they come back to the sizzle then add the balsamic, just a splash or 2, don’t add more than you added whiskey or the flavor will be to vinegary.

Onion Topping made this way:

  • 1 large sweet onion sliced thin
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons of the Rosemary and Roasted Garlic oil but the flavor is totally optional but oil gives the butter a higher smoke point so use whatever you have
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of dried dill, salt and granulated garlic
  • 1/2 cup Jameson
  • 2 or 3 small shallots
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Now that we have all the little futzies finished and the chips are baking let’s cook the patties. I am going to use the same pan that I made the onions in since it is already warm and has some good things happening in it. Make sure that there are no stray onions or any solid bits in the oils that the onions were cooked in as these will burn when we cook the patties and will make them taste like garbage, if you want to start with a fresh pan that is fine too it just takes a few things. For a fresh pan, heat 3 tablespoons Grape Seed oil to just shimmering and add the patties. If you are trooping along with the used pan because it’s already ready and you don’t have to wash an extra dish then make sure there are no bits and get the oil back up to medium heat before you add the patties. Cook on this side until they are browned about half way up the side before you flip them, burgers don’t like to futzed with while they cook so don’t be flipping them every 47 seconds and NEVER, EVER smoosh a cooking patty with your spatula. You will be tempted to fiddle with them but please just crack a beer or pour a glass of wine and just let them be. Once your patties are half way browned you may flip them and continue to not fiddle. Because these are lamb burgers we are not going to cook them to a crisp restaurant 165 degrees we are going to go more for 145 because lamb likes to be medium rare even if it is in a burger. Once the juice naturally running out of them-because we ARE NOT smooshing them- is just barely pink we are going to top them with Havarti cheese and let the cheese melt while the patties finish cooking.

If everything has gone to plan your meat and taters should be ready about the same time and if you want toasty buns then while the cheese is melting stick the buns in the oven while the potatoes are finishing up.

In my case I package all this up to go so I can’t say serve and enjoy but I can say

Thanks ya’ll! Happy cooking!!

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