I’ve been collecting and tweaking recipes for years. I have bookshelf after bookshelf stuffed full of cookbook, some over a hundred years old. The reality is, I will never be able to sample every recipe I’ve tucked away over the years.
Sometimes I look at my recipe collection and wonder if I’ve turned into Sarah Winchester. She’s the widow of William Winchester, of the Winchester Rifle fame. While there is a lot behind it, Sarah’s mansion in San Jose California was under constant construction. Stairs that lead nowhere, doors that open onto walls. The entire house is a maze. Despite the insanity of it all, she felt compelled to continue to build. Just as I feel compelled to collect recipes.
Needless to say, in that collection are burger recipes. Really? My husband asked. Burgers? What’s a recipe got to do with it? Form a patty, throw it on the grill and then slap that bad boy between two buns, load on the ketchup and there you go. What does he know? He says the same thing about meat loaf, which if he had it his way would be a big hunk of ground beef smothered in ketchup. That explains why I’m the cook and he’s the bottle washer.
Anyway, I was thumbing through my burger recipes when I came across one called “French Onion Burger” from jamiecooksitup.net. (The photo is from the same site). Hum, I like French, so why not give it a whirl? Naturally, I made a few changes to suit my family’s particular tastes (and yes, I let my husband have the ketchup bottle). Between you and me, there’s very little I would have changed if it weren’t for my ketchup loving mate. The one big difference between mine and the original is that the original uses 2 pounds of ground beef to form 8 patties. I used 2 pounds of ground chuck (better flavor) and made 6 patties. These were big, thick and juicy – just the way the men-folk around here like ’em.
As a kid, I loved to smash Lay’s Potato Chips and put them on my bologna sandwiches, so when I saw that this recipe has you put potato chips on your burgers, I was all into it. Yeah, sounds crazy, but trust me – it’s really good!
Without further ado I give you the French Onion Burger . . .
French Onion Burger with Caramelized Onions
2 large yellow onions
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 Cup Beef Stock
Peel and thinly slice the onions. (I used a Mandoline to make quick work of this)
Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions to the pan and stir to coat onion slices in the butter. Place a lid tilted at an angle over the pan to allow some of the steam to escape as the onions brown. (My pan lids have a steam release valve. If your do, simply open the valve to release the steam).
Stir as needed to prevent burning. If necessary, reduce heat to medium. You want the onions to caramelize nicely without becoming over-cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes .
While the onions are caramelizing, make the patties. While the burgers are grilling, finish the onions.
Once the onions have caramelized, pour beef stock into the pan. Turn up the heat and let the onions stew in the liquid uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated. This will intensify the flavor of the onions. Keep warm until ready to use.
2 lbs Ground Chuck
2 packages (1 box) Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
Place half of the ground beef into a large bowl. Empty both envelopes of soup mix on top of the ground beef. Add the Worcestershire Sauce, eggs, salt and pepper then remaining ground beef. Now for the fun part . . . roll up your sleeves, get your hands into the meat and really work it up to mix the soup mixture throughout the meat.
Divide the meat into six equal balls, then flatten to form the patties. If you haven’t already done so, heat up the grill and lightly oil the grate to prevent the meat from sticking.
Grill burgers to your liking. I usually grill mine about 5 minutes per side, depending upon how thick the burger is.
Just before the burgers are finished, lay your cheese over the patties and cover the grill. Continue cooking until the cheese is completely melted.
The Buns & Toppings:
6 hamburger buns
6 dill pickle Stackers
6 slices Sharp Cheddar Cheese (the original called for American or Swiss)
1 Bag Ruffled Potato Chips
6 Tablespoons Mayonnaise (unless you’re my husband – skip the mayo, add ketchup)
6 Tablespoons Sweet Baby Rays Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce
Now it’s time to assemble the burgers. It goes something like this: Bottom Bun, barbecue sauce, pickles, potato chips, burger, cheese, caramelized onions, top bun with mayonnaise. At least that’s the way we build ’em in our house. How you assemble your burger is up to you – just remember the most amazing and important component – THE POTATO CHIPS! It’s the one ingredient you cannot skip. Potato chips make all the difference in the world.
Kiddo likes to kick up the heat few degrees, so he added Nacho Jalapenos to the mix.
All I can say is these are darn good burgers. Oh, and hubby who said “what recipe?” has already requested we make these burgers again real soon.