Friday, May 6, 2011

Mankato Burger

There's a place in town that makes a fabulous burger--they call it the Maverick burger. It's topped with a chive cream cheese, two slices of bacon, and a tomato. It's my go-to burger and I order it every time I'm there. But sometimes I can't make it down to have one. So I decided to make my own!

The first thing I did was start my cream cheese, so the flavors could have time to come together. While the original burger has crisp slices of bacon on top, I decided to crumble the bacon and mix it in with the cream cheese. That way, every bite was sure to have a bit of bacon in it. I had a package of bacon ends, and I took what I'd guess what would be equal to 3 slices and chopped them roughly.

I cooked them over medium heat to render out the fat and get them crisp.

While the bacon cooked, I got out the cream cheese. I used one of these small 3 oz. blocks. That should make enough for 4 burgers.

I tossed the cream cheese into a bowl and added some sliced chives. I like to use scissors to snip herbs--it makes cleanup incredibly easy, and you don't have to worry about little bits of herbs rolling around your kitchen floor later on.

I cut in some green onions, too. The description on the restaurant's menu says it's a chive cream cheese, but I'm positive there are green onions in it as well. Plus, I just like the crunch.

Once the bacon is crisp, drain the fat (save it for something else if you want) and add the bacon. If your cream cheese wasn't exactly softened, the hot bacon will help.

Don't forget to salt and pepper things for flavor (go light on the salt at first, since the bacon already had salt in it!) and mix together.

Now onto the burgers. If you remember one of the first Kim Chee Casserole recipes, Cheese-Stuffed Bacon Burgers, you'll know that I like to add a little ground bacon to my burger mix. This is especially important when using lean, grass-fed beef, like I am. If you're using 80/20 ground beef from the grocery store, you'd be fine to not add the bacon. But without the bacon, your burgers are at risk for getting dried out and overcooked.

I just gave the bacon a few pulses in the food processor.

I added the bacon to a mixing bowl, along with my ground beef. Then I hit it with a few shakes of Worcestershire.

After the ground beef and bacon became buddies, I shaped them into burger patties. Then they got another hit of Worcestershire.

I let them sit out at room temperature for a few minutes, to take the refrigerator chill off them. Your patties will shrink less if they're allowed to come to room temperature before cooking.

The time also lets the meat absorb the Worcestershire. I seasoned the patties with salt and pepper, and they were ready to grill!

While the burgers were cooking, I started assembling everything. First, I gave the buns a toast. This helps them stand apart from the cream cheese mixture. I used the pan I rendered the bacon in to toast the buns, with just a little butter.

Once the buns were toasted, they got a nice schmear of the cream cheese mixture.

Then a nice topping of tomato.

Add the burger patty and the top of the bun and you've got yourself a Mankato burger!

Recipe: Mankato Burger
Cream Cheese:
3 slices bacon, roughly chopped
1 4 oz. package softened cream cheese
1 tsp. minced chives
2 sliced green onions, white and light green parts

1 lb. ground beef
2 slices bacon, very finely chopped
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

4 burger buns
butter, for toasting

1 tomato, sliced

Cook bacon until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Drain bacon.

In a small bowl, combine bacon, cream cheese, chives, and green onions. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine chopped bacon, ground beef, and Worcestershire. Shape into 4 patties. Salt and pepper both sides, and drizzle with additional Worcestershire, if desired. Allow to come to room temperature. Grill over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes a side.

Using the bacon pan, lightly toast buns, using a little butter if necessary. Smear each bun with cream cheese mixture, add patty, and top with tomato.

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog and have tried several of your recipes, all to the delight of hubby's and mines happy mouths! The recipes are so simple and sooooo delicious! I've been in a cooking rut for years now (the kids are grown and gone) and your blog has made cooking a fun adventure for me again. Thank You!