Burger Party

23 Nov


Last weekend we got together with our friends Brent and Heather from Virginia is for Hunter-Gatherers and collaborated on a couple of dishes. Brent tackled a cole slaw that was pretty dang tasty, and we also built a few interesting fork-and-knife burger creations based on some standard burger concepts. It was fun to jump into someone else’s kitchen and throw together some food, and it all turned out so well that I figured I should share our results.

The origin of hamburgers is greatly disputed, but most sources point to the bread-and-burger invention being of American origin, and showing up in the late 19th century. A connection to the German port city of Hamburg is a little hard to find, but it turns out that ground beef steaks were common in Hamburg in the mid 1800s, which were brought to the city by Russians. They were served raw. Some years later, New York City became a common destination for travelers from Hamburg, and local German immigrants started selling the raw ground beef steaks, called Hamburg steaks, to visiting German tourists – who were otherwise known as “Hamburgers” (in the same sense that someone from New York is a “New Yorker”). Sometime down the line, the “Hamburger sandwich” was born, and the rest is history.

I’d also like to mention that La Cense Beef was kind enough to send me out a pack of their delicious grass-fed steakburger patties, which are 85% lean and made from all sorts of tasty parts: sirloin, round roast, chuck, and flank steak. They came individually wrapped, which was convenient for us since we didn’t cook all of the burgers at once during our little party.

There are plenty of ways to make a good burger, either by pan, grill, or Brent’s handy stovetop grill. Either way, the idea is the same: place the burgers over some moderate heat, then flip them after a few minutes, and cook for another few minutes. Since these burgers were on the lean side, they really didn’t take long to cook through – probably six minutes total.

Okay, enough with the introductions, let’s have a look at these monsters!

The Picnic Burger:
1 hamburger patty
3 slices dill pickle
1 slice tomato
1/4 cup Colonel Cole Slaw

The Picnic Burger is a great way to enjoy a burger outdoors – it captures the freshness of a warm summer day (or in our case, a crisp fall afternoon). Nothing beats the subtle combination of tomato, pickle, and sweet cole slaw.

The All-American Burger:
1 hamburger patty
1 tbsp Paleo ketchup
3 slices bacon
2 rings red onion
1 slice tomato
3 slices avocado
some lettuce
1 tbsp dill pickle relish (Bubbies version is the BEST I’ve ever had)

The All-American Burger is my take on our classic diner staple. Optional spicy mustard on the side.

The Aussie Burger:
1 hamburger patty
2 slices sharp white cheddar
1 fried egg
1/4 cup grilled onions
some lettuce
1 slice beetroot (we used fermented beet sticks, they were awesome)
optional: tomato and/or pineapple slice

I spent some time in Australia in my younger years, and I’ve always been drawn to what’s commonly referred to as The Aussie Burger – burger, cheese, fried egg, and beet are the required additions, with tomato and pineapple found in some versions. Check out this great commercial from Australia’s version of Burger King, Hungry Jack’s, from 1989.

The Barbecue Burger:
1 hamburger patty
3 slices bacon
1/4 cup grilled onions
1/4 cup grilled mushrooms
1 tbsp Paleo barbecue sauce

Lastly, I wanted to make a burger that featured my infamous barbecue sauce – which was nominated by Paleo Magazine as one of the best savory recipes of 2012 (vote here, polls close on November 30th!). The Barbecue Burger is another classic, with grilled onions, mushrooms and, of course, bacon.

So that’s it, our burger party explained in four easy, distinct dishes. We quartered each of these burgers and shared them, and it was surprising how unique each burger was compared to the other.

7 Responses to “Burger Party”

  1. Alex November 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    Wow, these all look so good, I’m not sure which one I would try first! I think probably the Aussie Burger would be my top pick, with the BBQ Burger coming in as a close second.

  2. vanbraman November 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    They look really good, especially the day after Turkey day.

  3. CallanRG November 24, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    Looks delicious! I needed some burger inspiration. :-)

  4. Russ Crandall (thedomesticman.com) November 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Thanks guys!

  5. theboyandtheburger December 22, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    If you’re ever back in VA on the eastern shore Norfolk VA has a place that just opened called 80/20. They use all organic grass feed beef for their burgers. Pretty neat place few interesting concepts.

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