Archive for August 27th, 2011

The stuffing for these burgers could make shoe leather palatable. It combines inexpensive exotic mushrooms, like shiitake and cremini, with a little bit of dried wild mushrooms to boost the flavor. Don’t let the price of dried wild mushrooms scare you; a little goes a long way, and you get the added benefit of a soaking liquid that can be reduced to the essence of mushroom-identity.

TIMING
Prep: 20 minutes
Grill: About 10 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled spatula.

GETTING CREATIVE
– Garnish these savory burgers with rich, intense flavors, like caramelized onions or garlic, blue cheese, or a slice of fresh goat cheese.
– Season the surface of the burgers with an herb rub like Tuscan Rosemary Rub or Provençal Herb Rub.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (425° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 6 SERVINGS)
½ ounce dried wild mushrooms such as porcini, morels, and(or) chanterelles
1/3 cup hot water
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped onion
4 ounces fresh “wild” mushrooms such as oyster, cremini, and(or) shiitake, sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
¼ cup red wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste
2 pounds ground beef chuck, 85% lean
Oil for coating grill grate
6 flatbread rolls such as ciabatta, split.

DIRECTIONS
1. Soak the dried mushrooms in the hot water in a small bowl for 20 minutes, or until tender. Lift the mushrooms from the soaking liquid; don’t discard the liquid. Chop the mushrooms finely and set aside.
2. Heat the grill as directed.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender and lightly browned. Add the sliced fresh mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook for another minute. Add the wine, soaked mushrooms, and mushroom-soaking liquid, being careful to leave behind any sediment at the bottom of the bowl. Boil until the liquid is almost all gone. Stir in the vinegar, parsley, and a pinch each of the salt and pepper; let cool.
4. Using your hands, mix the beef and the remaining salt and pepper in a bowl until well blended; do not overmix. Using a light touch, form into 12 patties no more than ½ inch thick.
5. Put a portion of the mushroom mixture in the center of each of 6 patties; top with the remaining patties and press together, taking care to seal the edges well. Refrigerate the burgers until the grill is ready.
6. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the burgers on the grill, cover, and cook for 9 minutes, flipping after about 5 minutes, for medium-done (150°F, slightly pink). Add a minute per side for well-done (160°F).
7. To toast the rolls, put them cut-sides down directly over the fire for the last minute of cooking.
8. If serving the burgers directly from the grill, serve on the rolls. If the burgers will sit, even for a few minutes, keep the rolls and burgers separate until just before eating.

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