I eat pretty well. And I don’t just mean well in the sense of delicious food, but I’m very conscientious of what I eat. You’ll notice that from most of the posts on this blog, like my twice-yearly detox (coming soon!). But sometimes I just want a burger. A drippy, delicious, fatty burger on a nutritionally void but magically delicious roll. This whole burger thing started when my roommate tweeted a recipe by Nigel Slater (British dude) for the Guardian. The beef burger looked simple enough. Add sun-dried tomatoes and chives to good-quality ground beef and spread some avocado on it.
I feel like being from California, I should like Avocado on my burgers, but the truth is I don’t. I like cheese on my burgers. Oddly enough, this recipe does not involve cheese. But I swear to you this is one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. I’ve actually never made a beef burger that I liked before. I always find that they aren’t juicy enough and pan frying them doesn’t do much for flavor. I cooked these patties in a cast iron skillet and my god were they good. You MUST use Martin’s potato rolls (definitely easy to come by in the packaged bread section of your grocery store) because they are the best. I also *highly* recommend using fresh basil instead of lettuce, but if you don’t like basil, use a different leafy green. Sriracha mayo smothered on the roll really knocked this one out the park.
When cooking burgers in a cast iron skillet you want to go small. Make the patties to be about the size of ½ a tennis ball and they will cook perfectly and fit nicely on your Martin’s roll. Don’t mess around with crappy ground beef for this recipe. Splurge on the free range, organic whatever stuff from the butcher.
You must try this recipe. And don’t forget the garlic fries. Use a sweet potato for something a little different. Sorry the photos don’t show the finished burger, I was too excited to eat these and forgot to snap a photo.
Special thanks to Kevin for the beautiful peppers, Aaron for the fresh chives and Laura for the fresh basil. I have killed many plants in my lifetime and admire your skills in producing edible materials.
Sun-dried Tomato Burgers with Sriracha Mayo and Basil
You will need:
2 lbs BEST quality ground beef (I used 85% ground sirloin)
2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil + 1 Tablespoon oil from the jar
1 Teaspoon onion powder
1 Teaspoon salt
10-15 chives, cut into 1-inch pieces (about ¼ cup packed)
1 small red chili, cut into tiny pieces
½ cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Sriracha + more to taste
½ Tablespoon agave nectar
1 package of Martin’s potato rolls (8)
About 20 large basil leaves, very roughly chopped
Cast-iron skillet. Like this one.
1. Mix the mayonnaise, Sriracha and agave together in a small bowl. Set aside but do not refrigerate as it tastes better at room temperature.
2. Chop the tomatoes into tiny piece and combine with the oil, beef, onion powder, salt, chives and chilies in a large bowl.
3. Form the meat into small patties. You will have 8 rolls, so each person should get 2 burgers. Raw, mine were about the diameter of a base ball and one-inch high.
4. Heat a heavy cast iron skillet over medium heat. After 2 minutes, add a dime-sized piece of the mixture. If it sizzles and smokes, your pan is hot. Cook the burgers two at a time. 3 minutes on one side without disturbing for medium, then flip and cook for 2 minutes. Obviously stove and pan temps will differ, but 3 minutes of each side is a good rule, 4 if you want it cooked through.
5. To serve, spread the Sriracha mayo on the top of each bun. Place and burger inside and top with 5 torn basil leaves. Serve with Sriracha on the side.
You will need:
2 large russet potatoes
1 large sweet potato
6 garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 cast iron skillet
1 small skillet
1 garlic press. Like this one.
Brown paper bags for oil drainage
1. Slice the potatoes lengthwise into thin sections, then slice those into strips that resemble french fried. Use your sharpest knife as the thinnest fries taste the best.
2. Set the raw fries aside in a bowl wrapped in paper towels to remove moisture.
3. Heat the skillet over medium heat and add the oil. The oil will be hot in 2-3 minutes, but add a small piece of potato to test. Bubbles should form all around.
4. Cook the fries in batches. Add a small handful to the pan, spread out and then don’t disturb. They should be golden and crispy in a about 3 minutes, then move around with a wooden spoon. Taste a potato from each batch before removing from the pan. Drain on brown paper bags or paper towels.
5. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium-low heat, heat the olive oil. Using a garlic press, add the pulverized garlic to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off flame.
6. Serve the fries with the garlic mixture drizzled on top. Sprinkle the parsley and add salt to taste.
Optional: You can make these fries a few hours before you eat them. Just leave the oil on the stove and re-fry them moments before you eat them and then add the garlic topping.