Saturday, July 17, 2010

Coffee-Rubbed Cheeseburgers

I'm not sure I understand why, but during the heat of summer people love to fire up their grills. I think grilling is something that would work better in spring or fall when the weather is more fair. But there is something freeing and relaxing about cooking outside after life has slowed down for summer. And there's nothing that is better suited for the grill than burgers.

There are a near infinite number of ideas and flavors and permutations thereof when it comes to burgers. They can be big or small; beef, pork, turkey, veggie, or a combination; have cheese or not; bacon or not; lettuce, tomato, onion, or other toppings; mayo, mustard, ketchup, guacamole, chimichurri, tzatziki, satay, or any other sauce. From this myriad of flavors, I decided to go a smokey, earthy route using this recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine.

Barbecue sauce is very easy to make. In 20 minutes, you can have your own sauce fit to your tastes and needs. No more putting up with gritty, overtly sweet mixtures from the supermarket.

Texas Barbecue Sauce
Makes about 1.5 cups

1 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 chipotle, minced (from a can in adobo sauce)
1/4 tsp cayenne

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, cooking until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat. Reduce sauce until it is about 1.5 cups, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If not using right away, put in a storage container and chill in the fridge.

Coffee-Rubbed Cheeseburgers
Makes 8 servings

Coffee Rub
1 tbsp ground coffee (not flavored)
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt

8 bacon slices
1 lb ground chuck
1 lb ground sirloin
8 slices smoked provolone
8 hamburger buns
8 slices of red onion
8 slices of tomato

For the coffee rub, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels and break in half. Set aside.

Mix ground meats in a large bowl. Form into 8 patties about 4 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Making an indentation (dimple) in the burger so that it cooks evenly.

Grillin' Burgers

Prepare barbecue with medium-high heat. Press in about 1 tsp of the coffee rub onto both sides of the burger, then place onto grill. Cook until desired doneness, flipping halfway through. Top each burger with 2 slices of bacon and 1 slice of provolone, cooking until the cheese melts. Place burgers on buns and top with onion, tomato and some barbecue sauce. Cover with top buns and serve with additional barbecue sauce on the side.

Coffee-Rubbed Cheeseburgers

These burgers were quite amazing. When each portion of a dish is well-seasoned, then you end up with something simply sublime. Everything exuded a smokiness, from the coffee in the rub to the bacon to the cheese to the sauce to the grill-marks. The coffee deepened the flavor of the burger and accentuated the barbecue sauce. These were everything burgers should be. Bold flavors, hearty and messy. I was most intrigued to cook with coffee, but it really is just a minor part of a wonderful burger creation.

1 comment:

Leah said...

WHAT?! You put coffee on your cheeseburgers?

You, sir, have gone to far and should be stopped.

On second thought, I'm hungry. Whatcha making?