Thursday, September 1, 2011

Grilling for Labor Day

Is it against the law in the United States to NOT grill out on Labor Day?  Kind of feels like it. Labor Day is a holiday for enjoying the last bit of summer, and Summer = Grilling.  So grill something!  Can I suggest burgers?

I am a HUGE fan of burgers.  I ate vegetarian for three years while in my 20's and it was the craving for cheeseburgers that finally made me give it up.

Burgers are the go-to grilling item but they don't need to be boring or bland. When most of us want to make up some burgers we  head to the meat section at the grocery store and grab some ground beef.  80/20 makes a good burger....grass-fed beef is pretty great...but the best burger we've made came from ground brisket.  Upon Tyler Florence's advice, Alex and I tossed 2 lbs of beef brisket, cut into chunks, into the meat grinder.  What?  You don't have a meat grinder?  Shocking.  Well, in that case, ask the butcher to grind it for you.  Most grocery stores will; they definitely will at Whole Foods.   And believe me, its worth asking for.  A little ground brisket, some salt and pepper, and a few awesome toppings and you will have yourself an amazing burger to celebrate Labor Day.

Cheese Burgers, adapted from Tyler Florence
2 pounds beef brisket, ground
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 slices of Swiss Cheese (or any other favorite cheese!)
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1 large tomato

Before you start on the burgers, get your toppings ready.  Slice the tomato and season the slices with salt and pepper and set them aside.  It is amazing what a little salt and pepper do to a tomato.  Now to caramelize the onions.  In a large frying pan melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onions to the pan and allow them to cook very slowly, about 20 minutes. They will be soft and golden brown and incredibly sweet!

Once the onions are almost done fire up the grill.  Season the ground meat with salt and pepper and mix them in with your hands.  Now form the meat into 4 patties.  To keep them flat on top while they are cooking, create an indentation in the middle of each patty.   Put the burgers on the hot grill and cook for about 5 minutes per side for medium.  About a minute before they are done, top them with cheese.

Make sure to put your finished burgers on great tasting buns and top them with a slice of tomato and some of the onions.  I like a bit of mayo on my burger too. :)  The addition of the ripe seasoned tomato and the sweet onions to a very juicy burger is unbelievably good.  So enjoy it!  And enjoy the long weekend.

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