A Nice Jewish Burger

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.


1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
3 pounds ground brisket
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 pound russet potatoes
1/2 cup grated yellow onion
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
12 slices challah (3/4-inch thick)
6 kosher dill pickles (Bubbies brand preferred)


Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to high.

To make the sour cream schmear, combine the sour cream and the horseradish in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the patties, loosely shape the brisket into 6 patties to fit the challah slices. They should be 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Do not overhandle. Sprinkle both sides of each patty with salt and pepper to form a crust. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To make the coffee glaze, combine the sugar, espresso powder, and water in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly until the sugar and coffee dissolve. Set aside.

To prepare the potato latkes, grate the potatoes. Rinse the grated potatoes in cold water, drain, and remove them to a clean hand towel. Wring the water from the grated potatoes and place them in a medium-sized bowl. Add the onion, egg, flour, salt, and pepper. Mix well and set aside. Heat a large, heavy fire-proof skillet on the grill. When hot, add enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan. When the oil starts to shimmer, place 6 large, heaping spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the pan. Pat down the latkes so they are approximately 1/2-inch thick and shaped to fit the challah slices. If necessary, the latkes can be made in two batches. When browned, flip the latkes and cook the other side until crisp and golden. Remove cooked latkes to paper towels to drain.

Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack and cover. Cook 4 minutes. Flip the patties. Brush or spoon the coffee glaze over the patties. Cook another 4 minutes. Remove the patties to a plate and loosely cover with tinfoil.

While the burgers are cooking, lightly toast the challah slices on the edge of the grill, approximately 2 minutes for each side.

Slice the pickles lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices and pat them dry.

To assemble the burgers, place each patty on a slice of challah. Place a latke on each patty and top with the pickle slices. Spread the sour cream schmear on the remaining challah slices and place them on top of the burgers. So eat already!