Monday, July 9, 2012
Oklahoma Fried Onion Burgers
On Friday, I received my "Cook's Country" magazine in the mail and was very excited to see this recipe for 'fried onion burgers'. We love caramelized onions, as well as a good burger, so I thought I'd give these a try.
MAN! We loved them. And they're a really simple burger to do, all you need is ground beef and some onions and some American cheese. You can add other stuff if you want, I added some mustard and some pickles but that was it. The Handyman, my son and his girlfriend added (I shudder to say it) ketchup. It's YOUR burger, add what you want!
Before I get to the directions of the 'fried onion burger', let me paraphrase the article for you...because as most of you know, Cook's Country (as well, as Cook's Illustrated, America's Test Kitchen, etc) takes a recipe and works it until it becomes the very best it can be.
Well.... I changed it all up for myself.
This burger has onions embedded in the burger---smashed right into the patty, and then fried up to a golden brown. You are supposed to slice your onions very thin and then press them into the beef patty so the onion adheres to the ground beef. Then you fry them so the onions caramelize and the burgers stays juicy.
These burgers come from a small Oklahoma town, called El Reno, at the Hamburger Inn on Route 66. They were originally made during the depression to stretch ground beef, but were so popular they became a signature item.
And I can really see why, they are great!
In the magazine they say that making these burgers without a flattop grill has it's challenges, and goes on to give some great suggestions and directions.
My challenge tho? I wondered if the onions would still be 'raw' when the burger was cooked to perfection. Which, truthfully, might be really good, some caramelized onions on the outside with raw onions on the inside. BUT I thought I needed to cook my onions a bit first before smashing them into the burger. So that's what I did. And these were so good!
This isn't a grilling or bbq burger, but a real 'fried' burger... even tho it was fried in a pan, it was juicy and yummy and very oniony. Mmmmm..
I make my own hamburger buns with the recipe from Brenda's Canadian Kitchen. This is only the 2nd time, I've attempted it. My family LOVES them, but they don't look like Brenda's buns...yet. (practice makes perfect I hear)
Here is the recipe for the burgers, but for more detailed directions (and the whole story of the fried onion burger ) check out Cook's Country Website or run out and buy their magazine.
Oklahoma Fried Onion Burgers
1 large onion, halved and sliced 1/8 inch thick
salt and pepper ( I seasoned my meat with season-salt and garlic powder too)
12 oz 85 percent lean ground beef (I used 80 percent )
1 T unsalted butter
1 tsp vegetable oil
4 slices of American cheese
4 hamburger buns, buttered and toasted
1. Combine onion and 1 tsp salt in a bowl and toss to combine (I did not do this, as I fried my onions up instead). transfer to a colander and let sit for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Using tongs, transfer onion to clean dish towel, gather edges and squeeze onion dry. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp pepper.
2. Divide onion mixture into 4 separate mounds on a rimmed baking sheet. Form beef into 4 lightly packed balls and season with salt and pepper. Place beef balls on top of onion mounds and flatten beef firmly so that the onion adheres and patties measure 4 inches in diameter.
3. Melt butter with oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Using spatula, transfer patties to skillet, onion side down, and cook until onion is deep golden brown and beginning to crisp around the edges, 6-8 minutes. Flip burgers, increase their heat to high and cook until well browned on the 2nd side, about 2 minutes. Place 1 slice of cheese on each bottom bun. Place burgers on buns, add desired toppings and serve.