Grilling season is here again, and burgers are a definite favorite at my house. My kids go crazy when they hear that it’s burger time. I finally perfected the perfect juicy burger on the grill, so it was time for me to move onto the perfect toppings, preferably the homemade kind. I was really interested in the Vermont Burger on the cover of the June 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living. The magazine spread is about Lucinda Scala’s son’s college graduation party. Upon first look, the recipes look pretty fantastic. Definitely a fun spread for a good party. The burger on the cover gorgeous all piled high with thick-cut pickles, classic lettuce and tomato, cheddar cheese, and two homemade sauces – Beer-Spring Onion Mustard and Extra-Special Sauce. I had a feeling that the burger was going to be all about those two sauces. Read my notes below to see what I thought of these recipes.
Yield: 20 burgers
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 min
PREP: 30 MINS TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR 30 MINS
YIELD:Makes 20 (10 turkey, 10 beef)
For the Turkey Burgers
1 pound ground white-meat turkey
1 pound ground dark-meat turkey
1/2 cup fromage blanc or pureed ricotta cheese
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
2 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
For the Beef Burgers
2 pounds ground beef, preferably grass-fed
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing
20 hamburger buns, split
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
For Beer Spring Onion Mustard:
3 tablespoons safflower oil
2 1/2 pounds thinly sliced Vidalia onions
1/2 cup mustard powder (from 2 containers)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 cup pale ale
For Extra-Special Sauce:
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons pickle juice
1 tablespoon Asian chili sauce (such as sambal oelek
For the turkey burgers: Arrange 10 (4-inch) parchment squares on a tray. Gently mix together turkey, cheese, parsley, sage, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Shape meat into 10 (3-ounce) patties (3 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick). Transfer patties to parchment.
For the beef burgers: Shape meat into 10 patties (see turkey burger instructions above).
Refrigerate patties for at least 1 hour.
Heat grill to medium-high; brush grates with vegetable oil.
Cook the turkey burgers: Brush tops with olive oil. Flip burgers onto grill, peeling off paper. Grill for 3 minutes. Brush tops with olive oil. Flip, and grill until cooked through, about 2 minutes more.
Cook the beef burgers: Season burgers with salt and pepper. Grill for 4 minutes. Flip, and grill until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more (6 minutes total for medium-rare, 7 minutes total for medium).
To serve burgers: Brush buns with butter, and grill until browning around edges, about 30 seconds. Sandwich burgers between buns, garnished with desired toppings.
For mustard: Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add safflower oil, and swirl to coat. Reduce heat to medium. Cook Vidalia onions, stirring often, until very soft, about 30 minutes. Stir in mustard powder, salt, and turmeric. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Stir in cider vinegar, and raise heat to high. Add pale ale, and cook, stirring often, until mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Let cool completely.
For extra-special sauce: Stir together ketchup, mayonnaise, pickle juice, and Asian chili sauce.
Storage: Mustard can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Storage: Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
As I said, I feel like I already make a really good burger – the kind of beef used matters a lot, as does the cooking method. So where this burger could have stood out the most was with the two sauces. I did not try the turkey burger recipe – my family doesn’t really care for ground turkey so much, but I would like to give it a try sometime.
Where I’m from we have fry sauce, which is basically the same thing as the Extra-Special Sauce except that the pickle juice and sambal oelek make it extra special. I’m not sure if I’ll ever look at “fry sauce” the same again! I will definitely make it again.
Now we get to the mustard sauce…not so great. I love mustard in every form, but I couldn’t like this one. I tried. Homemade mustard is pretty easy to make and typically pretty darn delicious. I don’t know if this one was terrible because of the beer I used – too bitter? I don’t know if it was the onions? The mustard powder? It was inedible. So, I’m probably not going to be make that recipe again. It was pretty much a burger deal-breaker and went straight into the trash. Bummer! I’m not giving up on the idea itself, maybe just the beer part?
Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?
Summertime is Burgertime, and I was drawn in by that gorgeous cover photo. Sadly because I pretty much hated the mustard, I’m going to be a fence-sitter this time around. I look forward to trying the turkey burger recipe and maybe that will change my mind. :)