Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Seriously Good Eating: Cowboy Burgers

I am an avid recipe collector. I don’t have the room to keep every food magazine, so I read through, soak up the knowledge, make notes on wine or cheese, and then tear out the recipes I think I want to try. One of the most recent successes was from Gourmet magazine, a coffee-rubbed cheeseburger with spicy bbq sauce. It was so good that Brilliant Daughter requested I make them less than a week after I first served them, they are just that good. I may not go back to regular burgers, ever…..

There is nothing special about the patty itself, it is just plain ground chuck. We tried making them with a leaner ground beef, but found that there was less flavor and moisture, so I’d stick with the ground chuck. The patties are rubbed with a coffee-based rub, which takes just a quick minute to make. Probably a bit more involved is the barbecue sauce. You do have to cook that on the stove, but it can be made ahead, and stores well in the fridge.

These are rather large burgers, not for the faint of heart given the layers and the spicy sauce. I recommend eating them outside with a napkin tucked into your shirt. The coffee rub gives an added dimension to the burger’s flavor, but you cannot taste the coffee, per se. This is topped by crunchy bacon and a smooth melting cheese and finished with a ladle of spicy sauce and a layer of purple onion and red ripe tomato slice. Voila, you have yourself one kick-ass burger that will wow anyone.

My family was so wowed they hardly spoke the whole time they were eating. In fact the original recipe was made with 1/4 pound burgers, but everyone complained that there was not enough, so I increased the recipe to 1/3 pound the second time and received praise for doing so. I know we are trying to eat healthier, but some things have to be splurged on, and this is one of them.

The basics: form burgers, rub one side with coffee rub, grill 3-4 minutes on the coffee side and flip. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add bacon, top with cheese and grill until melted. Place burger on bun, top with sauce, onion and tomato and enjoy.

1 t ablespoon freshly ground coffee
2 teaspoons golden brown sugar
2 t easpoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Mix all ingredients in small bowl. This can be made in advance.

1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup worcestshire sauce
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 chipotle chili (canned in adobo), minced with seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Stir in ketchup and all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to 1 1/3 cups, stirring occasionally. This takes about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

1/3 lb ground chuck per person
1 slice smoked (or regular) provolone cheese per person
1 potato bread hamburger bun per person
1 slice applewood (or thick cut) bacon per person
sliced red onion
sliced tomato

Form burgers into patties. Cook bacon, cut in half, and set aside on paper towels to soak up excess grease. Using your thumb, make a slight indentation in each burger in the center. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the rub on this side, pressing into the meat. Heat barbecue to medium and place rubbed side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes, turn and top with bacon. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Place cheese on top to melt. When done, place burgers on buns, top with sauce, onions, tomatoes, and enjoy.

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