Oozing cheese, juicy meat and perfectly grilled burgers: Ah! what a way to end the weekend with this #SundaySupper. Since my husband and I are alone in the house these days, experimenting at dinner time has become the norm. Last night it was a toss-up between steaks and burgers, but the moment I suggested stuffed cheeseburgers, I knew I had a winner. Just imagining the warm cheddar cheese and prime mince melting in our mouth was enough to give our sensory palette a jolt. To add to the gourmet experience, I suggested that a side of whiskey-smoked onions and honey glazed onions was a must.
After many trials, experiments and tribulations, I came up with a recipe fit for any “burger connoisseur” yet easy for any “kitchen first-timer”. In order to share our burger experience, we invited two friends over to join us for a burger fete and for #SundaySupper.
For the burger patty:
- 1/2 kg prime mince beef
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp mustard
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped jalapenos
For the Whiskey-Smoked Onions:
- 1-2 onions
- 1/3 cup whiskey
- 1 pat butter
For the Honey-Glazed Onion:
- 1-2 onions
- 1 pat butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- 4 plain or poppy-seed buns
- Lettuce leaves
- Since the patties need sometime in the fridge, it is best to attempt them first.
- Whisk the egg and water together, add breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and mustard and give it a good stir till there are no lumps
- Using your hands, pour the mixture over the mince meat and combine with your hands till the meat soaks up all the juices. (Note: It is always best to use your hands and it is the perfect way to judge the texture of the meat and when it has completely soaked in the egg mixture)
- Take a portion of the meat and cup it in your hands to make a round ball. Make an indent in the middle of the ball of meat, resembling a donut, and fill it with cheddar cheese and jalapenos.
- Use your thumb and forefinger to pinch together the meat to close the indent made for the stuffing. (Note: Make sure the hole is completely sealed, preventing the cheese from sticking on the grill)
- Use your hands to pat the meat patties down into disc shapes, on a plate, making sure that their height is about 3/4 inches. (Note: You can use the topmost indent on your forefinger to measure the height)
- Refrigerate the patties for a couple of hours before grilling them. (Note: You can make them up to 24 hours in advance and even freeze them for up to a month)
It was time to begin my favorite part;to flambe the whiskey-smoked onions.
- Cut the onions into round discs and lay them flat on a butter-greased frying pan to brown. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the fire once the onions have become brown and splash the whiskey all over them.
- Take a blow torch or a long candle-lighter (which I use) and flambe the onions; In short, put them on fire.
- For the Honey-Glazed onions, melt butter in a saucepan, add the onions and honey, till they are soft and brown. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes.
The strong smell of the whiskey fused onions fused with the sweet aroma of the Honey-Glazed onions, cooking separately, drew my husband and our friends into the kitchen. Little did I realize, there would be mayhem at the sight of the flames in the pan. Before I could explain, my husband shrieked, that this time I was sure to bring down the house with the fire. Our friends on the other hand were much more clam, enjoying the breathtaking colors in the pan and basking in the aroma of the onions.
With the grill smoking, it was now time to pour some oil and start on the burgers.
- Put the burger patties on the grill once it starts to smoke.
- Grill the burgers about 3 minutes per side if you want medium cooked burgers (my preference) and about 5 minutes per side if you want your burgers well done (my husband’s preference and the reason behind many of our arguments)
- Make sure to turn the burgers over just once and take them off the heat once dark grill marks appear on their surface.
- Tip: The way to know your burger is cooked is to watch the patty change color on the grill. The darker the burger, the more cooked it will be.
- The perfect burger: Light brown on the outside and a shade of pink on the inside
The piping hot burgers were laid out on the table along with the onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, burger buns warmed on the grill, lettuce,sliced cheese and a variety of sauces. It was “build your own burger” time. Prize: The person with the best burger would have their burger’s picture placed on my blog.
As everyone bit into their burgers, these were their first reactions:
A.S: “It is very juicy” (I take his word for it since he had two)
M.A: “Amazing burgers, they are so good” (The proof was in the pudding, she usually doesn’t finish her food and orders chicken burgers at restaurants; last night,there was not even a crumb left in her plate)
My husband:”Hmmmm, I wish it were a bit more charred and cooked”
Myself: Ignoring my husband’s comment I just enjoyed the burst of flavors on my palette; the strong taste of the onions, the warmth of the melted cheese and the juices of the burger patty itself.
But as consolation, he did win the prize of the best burger, hence now I have to put the picture up on my blog, as promised. However, the argument over the way to cook meat, still continues.