While out at a recent work lunch, I stopped at one of my favorite local restaurants, Bistro Byronz. I had the best burger that day! I went home and tried to recreate it. While my recipe calls for Swiss cheese, you can also use Cheddar, Pepper Jack, or even smoked Gouda. Perfect for tailgating or football parties. This is a sure fire way to step up your burger game!
Ingredients for Burgers:
2¼ pounds ground chuck
12–16 (3½- to 4-inch wide) slices Tartine bread
OR 6–8 hamburger buns
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
cooked, crispy bacon
Ingredients for Caramelized French Onion Relish:
2 large yellow onions, peeled, cut in half and (?-inch) sliced
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup melted butter
1 tbsp honey
1½ quarts beef stock
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
Preheat grill according to manufacturer’s directions. Remember it’s always best to have a hot side of the grill where the burgers will sit 1–2 minutes on each side, and a cool side of the grill where less intense heat will provide a place for finishing the burgers without burning. In a large bowl, place ground chuck. Season lightly with salt, black pepper, and granulated garlic. Using your fingers, blend meat and seasonings thoroughly, being careful not to over-mix.
NOTE: Over mixing can create a tough burger.
Form 6–8 patties, ½–¾ inch thick. Prior to cooking, prepare relish (and fixings, if preferred) so that burger patties do not get cool after grilling. Burgers are best served hot. To make caramelized onion relish, in a large skillet, heat vegetable oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and stir frequently until onions are fully cooked and golden brown. Add honey and beef stock, bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 15–20 minutes or until relish consistency is achieved. Do not scorch. Season lightly with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Remove from heat and keep warm. When ready to cook burgers, oil grill rack then cook patties on hot side of pit, covered, for 4 minutes, turning at 2-minute intervals. Transfer burgers to the cool side of the pit for another 2 minutes, turning once to guarantee doneness. Place Tartine bread or hamburger buns on grill 1–1½ minutes to warm. Top with cheese (melted, if preferred), making sure cheese covers the entire slice of bread or bun. Add patty over bottom slice, top with bacon then cover with caramelized onion relish. Lean remaining slice of Tartine against the burger with cheese side facing the patty, or cover burger with top bun. Serve with cornichon on the side.
NOTE: You may also wish to dress the burger with your favorite, traditional fixings such as mayonnaise, lettuce, and pickles, etc.