TFK Grilled Cheeseburgers

It’s grilling season! This is a great opportunity for me to share our homemade grilled burger recipe with you.  We got together with our group of friends to take advantage of the beautiful weather we had been having in Guatemala before the rainy season began, one of them – Felipe- has a great little grill in his backyard so it was the perfect setting. Friends, food, sun, beer. Plus, I would get to try out the recipes from my new cookbook : Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries and Shakes.
It rained.

To entertain ourselves while the rain passed, we had a few beers and a couple of drinks…or more, and listened to music. Fortunately, the rain did pass (as well as the afternoon) and we headed outside to start grilling our prepared burger patties and vegetables. I don’t have a lot of pics like we normally do for our posts, I couldn’t get a good photo of food outdoors and at night!

Anyway, the recipe I chose for the burger patties ended up being a mixture of Bobby Flay’s tips and Saveur’s hamburger edition ingredient recommendations. I added some bread crumbs, an egg, worcestershire sauce and a few spices to my ground beef and ground pork mixture.   I made a 70% beef – 30% pork combination for my patties, I just like the flavor the burgers get from pork.  And also, I didn’t get lean beef. I bought 80% ground beef.  When you’re grilling, you want a little fat in there for flavor.  We used a lot of additions for this, which… not to toot our own horns, but we assembled a damn good burger.  It had caramelized onions (thanks, Edith!), bacon, pickles, chipotle mayonnaise, a choice of monterrey jack or swiss cheese, the works!

So gather your family or friends and heat up the grill!  You’ll have a great time and I guarantee everyone will love them.  We served them with oven roasted fries and to finish it off, we treated our friends with Strawberry Peach Vodka Collins Poptails.

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TFK Grilled Cheeseburgers

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay and Saveur
Yields: 5  hamburgers (almost 6 oz each)

Ingredients:

 2 lbs ground beef (you can mix 1 1/2 lb beef and 1/2 lb ground pork)
1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 egg lightly beaten
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of herbed bread crumbs

5 Hamburger buns

Additons:
Romaine lettuce
Tomatoes, thinly sliced
Swiss Cheese, sliced
Monterrey Jack Cheese, sliced
Caramelized Onions
Crisp Bacon strips
Pickles, sliced
Chipotle Mayonnaise
Ketchup
Dijon mustard

Procedure:

  1. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together.  Don’t overwork the meat, mix everything until it is well combined. (If you pack the meat too much and overwork it, it can cause the burger to become mealy and overly dense.
  2. Divide meat into 5 equal pieces.  You can use a scale to make sure you have an average of 6 oz patties.  I find that 8oz is a bit too much, but it’s up to you. If you prefer a thicker patty, go for 8oz.   Also, be aware of the circumference of your bun. The burgers will shrink a little while cooking.
  3. Thick burger patties tend to puff up in the middle while they cook.  Making a depression in the top of the patty using the back of a measuring spoon helps the burger hold its shape.
  4. You can prepare the meat patties ahead of time, by stacking them between pieces of wax paper.  Keep refrigerated and well sealed up to one day.
  5. When grilling time comes: Heat coals in a charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over.  Brush the burgers with oil.  Grill them until golden brown and slightly charred on the first side, about 3 minutes.  Flip the burgers over.  Cook until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side, about 4 minutes for medium rare.

For Assembly:

  1. Lightly brown the sides of the hamburger buns, which will help them from getting soggy.
  2. I have a system for assembling my hamburgers to help them from falling apart:  The first thing that goes on the bread are 2 lettuce leaves, then the hamburger patty, followed by your choice of cheese, tomato, bacon, caramelized onions and pickles.  I prefer to squeeze mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard right on top instead of spreading it on the top bun.
  3. Devour.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

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