Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Aloha Burger

I don’t often make burgers for home consumption, although I do often ORDER a burger at a restaurant. And I really do enjoy burgers of all shapes and sizes (with fries, gotta have great fries!) But I think they are one of those things that seem really simple to make, and they really aren’t. First you have the patty. Gotta figure out what kind of meat, and do you want to add any seasoning or anything to pep it up. It’s hard to make the perfect patty. Then come the toppings. And when do you prep those? Do they go on the burger while it’s cooking or after? And the bun! There are a thousand buns to choose from. English muffin is a personal favorite, but the classic is good too. So, as you can see, there’s a reason why I’ve never posted a burger on this site before. But I decided that I’d try one for the July Fourth weekend. This aloha burger caught my eye because it has pineapple on top! Yes, pineapple! It seems a little strange, but it actually tasted really good. We had some issues with our patty, but I’m modifying the recipe below to reflect changes I would make to solve the meatball effect. I would definitely make this again.

Patty Ingredients
½ pound ground beef
½ pound sausage (I used Hot)
1 medium onion, diced small
1 jalapeño, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano (or basil)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons barbecue sauce

Barbeque Sauce
Pineapple Slices
Cheddar (or your favorite cheese)

This makes about six big patties. We actually only cooked half and froze the others to make later! If you want to make it with all beef, that’s fine too. I just like the extra flavor that sausage brings. Take your beef and sausage out of the fridge while you prep so that when you mix with your hands you won’t freeze your fingers. Sauté your onion and jalapeno for just a few minutes in a little olive oil to soften them up. Add the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds before taking it off the heat and letting it cool. You can skip this step if you aren’t feeling it, but the heat helps bring out the flavors a little and I think helps it feel more incorporated into the patty. Sometimes raw veggies want to separate from the meat a little more than sautéed ones do.

In a bowl, mix together the beef and sausage with the cooled onion, jalapeno and garlic. Add in your spices and barbecue sauce and mix those really well with your hands. I’ve found that using cooking gloves really helps with the mess here. Seems a little excessive but no one likes raw meat under the fingernails.

Once the meat is thoroughly mixed, form it into patties and cook on your grill! Add the cheese towards the end to melt onto the patty. Give your buns a light toast while you’re at it. And don’t forget to grill the pineapple! Then build your burger. I opted to put the pineapple on top of the burger so that it wouldn’t get the bottom bun all soggy. So, cheese, pineapple, a little BBQ sauce (Stubb’s Spicy is my favorite!) and a few strips of bacon. Then say Aloha to your hunger!

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