Ok, fourth post in a row, and some might think that I am running out of ideas. Instead, I feel like I am just getting started. I feel like I should go ahead and warn you that this is, yet another, post about hamburgers. Please don’t let that turn you off, but it’s just what I happened to have for dinner tonight!
Earlier in the week, I was able to snag a large package of ground beef from the grocery at a good price. I had every intention to portion it out and freeze them, but I never got around to it. My wife used some earlier in the week and I was left with about 2.5 pounds, and I didn’t know what to do with it. Always knowing what’s best, my wife suggested I make burgers. I was quite thrilled at this decision, because as you know, I love cooking and eating hamburgers.
I typically make 1/4 pound burger patties, so that left me with 9 burgers. I didn’t want to just make plain burgers, since I was making such a bulk at once. I decided that a few of them would be normal, and I would experiment with the others. So that brings us to this post.
I made three “Juicy Lucy” burgers. I saw these on a Travel Channel show, and I have been making them ever since then. Basically it’s just a burger stuffed with American cheese. These are great because the cheese just oozes out of the middle of the burger, and it is really fun to eat. I made three regular American cheese burgers, and one horseradish cheddar burger. That leaves two, right?
This is where I felt the creative juices flowing. I wanted to experiment with making the most flavorful exterior that I could. The first one that I will talk about is probably one of the best burgers I think I may have ever made. I made a spice rub for my burgers. It seemed like such a weird idea, but it really worked. On top of that (Yep, a pun), I had roasted a head of garlic, mashed it up and put it on the burger. This burger was almost more like a mini roast or something, I don’t really know how to explain it. It really exploded with flavor. I guess. I guess I should probably spill my secret, right? Ok, so I made a non-measured mix of garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, dried, minced rosemary and glued it all together with extra virgin olive oil. It had this really savory, mouth-watering flavor that was really complex. I toasted the bun, and on the bottom I put a layer of mayonnaise. The patty went on top of that, followed by the roasted garlic mash and then topped with the top of the bun. That was it. It was excellent. The rub had a very prominent flavor that exited the palate kind of quickly, and then the roasted garlic flavor really kicked in and was a nice last-impression to every bite.
The other burger I made was rubbed with olive oil and then coated with smoked paprika. I have not eaten this one yet, but I am really excited about it. Smoked paprika is by far one of my favorite spices to use. It has a nice smokey flavor to add to things, but doesn’t have the punch of regular paprika. I highly recommend everyone having a tin of this in their spice cabinet. Or spice rack. Or wherever you put your spices.
Another benefit of this grilling adventure, was that it gave me an excuse to drink one of my favorite beers. The Sam Adams Octoberfest that is. I won’t get in to how amazing this beer is, but it was a nice compliment to not only the cooking process, but also while eating my highly spiced hamburger.
As a side and closing note, I would like to recommend that you add mayonnaise to the bottom bun in any burger you eat. You see, not only is mayo completely delicious, with it being on the bottom, it creates a water-tight seal from the juices of the burger, and prevents the bun from falling apart. As an added bonus, the juices coming out of the burger mingle with the mayo and create their own little sauce, which is a nice side texture/flavor.
So that’s really it for now. Have a great Labor Day weekend, and I leave you with a quote from Julia Child, re-purposed for my own cooking…I often like cooking with beer. And sometimes, I even put it in the food 🙂