It’s Burger Flippin’ Season

It’s the end of July and we’re well in to barbecue season. While my husband is usually the barbecuer in our family, I was excited to christen a new grill at the lake earlier this summer. Though the meal was simple, there’s still nothing quite like those grill marks and that smoky flavour. And opportunities to dress up any barbecue meal are always plenty.

We usually make burgers in batches and freeze them to have on hand for busy weeknights or to take for weekends away. This time, Wellesley Gourmet let us sample their tasty burgers. The chicken burger was my favourite – juicy and grilled to perfection!

To make our burgers a bit more “gourmet”, we gathered some of our favourites from the Never Enough Thyme store, including mango chutney, maple-chipotle BBQ sauce, onion marmalade, and pickled asparagus. It was a great mix that was perfect for kids and adults. The word “delish” comes to mind.

Making homemade burgers comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes and recipes – some have sauces, seasonings and fillers, including eggs. But to really let the beef shine, many chefs prefer this three-ingredient burger. There’s no over-mixing, and as long as the beef is fresh and of good quality, the flavour is wonderful. Now is a good time to make friends with your butcher!

Whatever you choose to throw on the grill, enjoy your barbecue season! Don’t forget the variety of cheeses, buns, toppings, preserves and sauces available locally. You’re only limited by your imagination. Here are some ideas to get you started. Happy grilling!

Three-Ingredient Burger

  •  750 g fresh medium or lean ground beef (you can mix your cuts to get the perfect mix of sirloin and chuck, for example)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground pepper

 Instructions

  1. Place ingredients in bowl and combine.
  2. Press into 6 patties.
  3. Place on preheated grill on medium.
  4. Cook approximately 6 to 8 minutes on each side – they will be firm to the touch when cooked through.
  5. Allow to rest for 4 minutes and serve on a toasted roll with your favorite toppings. We suggest some of the following combinations:
  • Boursin cheese, bell pepper jelly and arugula
  • mango, brie and chicken
  • smoked cheddar, maple-kissed bacon, caramelized onions and BBQ sauce
  • Portobello mushroom, goat’s cheese, roasted red peppers, pesto and baby spinach

 

Image: KEKO64 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dress up your burger

beef burgerWith the popularity of shows that tour diners and dives looking for the best hamburgers with the most ridiculous toppings (like pulled pork on top of a beef stuffed chicken burger), burger toppings have extended way beyond the typical ketchup, relish, mustard condiments. We’ve even seen peanut butter and bacon as a topping option!

But it doesn’t have to get expensive or difficult to be gourmet and you don’t have to drive across America looking for the most outlandish burger joint. With Father’s Day this Sunday, why not make dad what dads love most about the summer – barbecued burgers – and top them with some unique toppings that he may not have thought of before?

We have lots of ideas in-store at the Never Enough Thyme Food Shoppe with various jars of gourmet preserves – jams and marmalades, pickles and chutneys, and vinegars and oils. Or get really exotic with our recipes for tamarind banana chutney, onion marmalade, or Dijon barbecue sauce.

Or, combine sweet and salty and top dad’s burger with maple-candied bacon – what could be better than maple and bacon on a burger? It’s quite simple to make, too, and for the basic version just requires strips of bacon brushed with a generous dollop of maple syrup, and baked on a foil-lined pan in a 400˚F oven for about 10-15 minutes on each side, until the desired crispiness is reached.

Happy Father’s Day and enjoy your gourmet burgers!

 

Image: Vichaya Kiatying-Angsuleefreedigitalphotos.net