Alton Brown is my burger hero, but I feel like I'm not allowed to say that because it was on his man episode. He made really simple burgers on a flat top, smeared toasted buns with a little mayo, and topped with slow carmelized onions. DROOL! I first recreated his delicious burger, topped with my homemade mayonnaise.
But I can't do anything without making it a project. So I made a tangy barbecue sauce to baste the burgers, added melty baby swiss cheese, and topped with pea shoots, which can be found on the cheap at trader joes as a great alternative to lettuce on a burger. Am I the only person who hates lettuce on a burger? There is always too much, slopply placed, and doesn't stay crunchy, all of these problems solved by crunchy pea shoots.
So this was my attempt to tackle the burger, and I think I definitely nailed it!
Plain Toasty Burgers
1 pound 80/20 ground beef
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 teaspoon grated red onion
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
Mix up the ingredients VERY GENTLY with your hands. Separate into four patties, flatten a little, and create a little indent in the center of the burger.
Grease up a flat top with a little butter. Heat on medium high at the end closer to you and medium at the end further from you. Burgers to the front, buns to the back!
Cook on each side for 3-5 minutes, depending on how pink you like your burgers. Pull from the flat top and cover with foil to rest for 5-10 minutes. Be sure to toast your buns!
Once your burgers are done, you can go Alton style and smear a little mayo on both side of the bun and top with a pile of slow carmelized red onions (thin sliced, salt and pepper, olive oil, medium heat, about 30 minutes). Nothing is better than simple ingredients treated with care; a lot of yummy noises were made during consumption.
If you want to get a little fancy, try the Barbecue Glazed Toasty Burgers:
Barbecue Glazed Toasty Burgers
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle pepper + 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (chipotle in adobo)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup + 1/2 cup light brown sugar, divided
salt and pepper to taste
Toasty Burger Mix
Swiss cheese slices
First, bring together the barbecue sauce. Start by sauteing the onions, about 3 minutes on medium high, and season with salt and pepper. Add in the garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Add the spices, chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce and meld the flavors for about a minute.
Add the apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Let reduce by 1/2 on a simmer, about 30-45 minutes.
Add in the remaining brown sugar to temper the tang. Taste to season, add more adobo sauce if you like it hotter or more sugar if you like it sweeter. I buzzed up my sauce with an immersion blender, not a required step. It will be thick and rich and ready to baste on the burgers.
Once you flipped the burgers the first time, baste liberally with the barbecue sauce.
When the burger is just done, flip and baste the other side. Top with the swiss cheese and let it melt. Pull from the flat top and let rest 5-10 minutes under foil.
To construct the burger spread a little mayo on the bottom bun, top with the burger, add some of the caramelized onions, slather some barbecue sauce on the top bun, and finish with a handful of pea shoots for crunch. Tangy, sweet, spicy, melty, and MEATY! So good!