Photograph by Peter Frank Edwards
Makes 10 cheeseburgers
When I opened Husk, I knew we had to have a cheeseburger on the menu. Everyone has their own idea of the perfect burger; mine was inspired by the drive-in that my family used to take me to when I was young. Robo’s was the only real “restaurant” in my hometown, and my family just loved it. We would go there after my Little League baseball games. As a game wound down, I would be daydreaming about that burger, shake, and crinkle-cut fries. It’s probably the reason for some missed fly balls.
What I remember most about the cheeseburger was the squishy bun and how wonderful it was to eat the double patty covered in gooey American cheese. This recipe is a tip of the hat to that burger. I’ve changed it a little to make it my own—I wouldn’t dare try and replicate the burger from Robo’s. This recipe feeds a crowd, but you can halve it for a smaller group.
If you don’t have a meat grinder, ask the butcher to grind the meats for you.
1¾ cups mayonnaise, preferably Duke’s
1¼ cups yellow mustard
5 tablespoons ketchup
½ cup Bread-and-Butter Pickles, drained and cut into ⅛-inch dice
¼ cup pickled jalapeños, drained and cut into ⅛-inch dice
Grated zest (use a Microplane) and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Husk Hot Sauce (or other hot sauce)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons pepper vinegar, preferably Texas Pete brand
One 3-pound fresh boneless chuck roast
12 ounces fresh flank steak
3 ounces bacon, preferably Benton’s
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
10 hamburger buns, preferably potato rolls
1 cup shaved white onion
20 slices American cheese
50 Bread-and-Butter Pickles
For the sauce:
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large container and stir together to blend well. Cover, and refrigerate. (Tightly covered, the sauce will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.)
For the cheeseburgers:
1. Grind the chuck, flank steak, and bacon through a meat grinder fitted with the large die into a bowl. Mix gently to combine. Then run half of the mixture through the small die. Mix the two together.
2. Portion the meat mixture into twenty 3-ounce patties, about ½ inch thick (each burger gets 2 patties). If not cooking right away, arrange on a baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. (The patties can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook; it’s important that the patties are not ice-cold when they hit the hot pan.)
3. Generously butter the tops and bottoms of the buns. Toast on a griddle until nice and golden brown. Reserve.
4. Heat two 12-inch cast-iron skillets until as hot as possible. Divide the patties between the two hot pans. When the patties are nice and charred, about 2 minutes, flip them over and cook for 2 minutes more for medium. Place the onion slices on 10 of the patties. Place a slice of the cheese on all of the patties and allow it to melt, about 30 seconds. Stack the non-onion patties on top of the onion patties. Remove from the heat.
5. Smear both sides of the buns with special sauce. Place 5 pickles on the bottom half of each bun. Add the burger patties and top with the top halves of the buns. Serve at once.
Excerpted from Heritage by Sean Brock (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2014.
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