Big Lick Mountain Burger
Hello from Pennsylvania. My Husband, myself, and our large yellow Labrador named Sport, live here in the woods of Central Pennsylvania on Big Lick Mountain. We grill year round and love to entertain in our forest home. Our area has many family farms, producing everything from fresh dairy, cheese, vegetables, livestock and homemade pies, jellies and jams. We also have many small potato chip companies putting out unique and wonderful chips in small batch fashion, and commercial bakeries producing soft pillow high potato breads. And, being in the midst of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, we have a long tradition of home canning and preserving, as well as a vast array of Dutch specialties already canned and prepared for convenience at local markets.
The Big Lick Mountain Burger uses these regional products and assembles them in the old style of Dutch ingenuity. I start by using local farm raised beef. I then incorporate local potato chips into the burger to add a burst of flavor and a contrast of texture. Then to finish off, a little soft Cream Cheese and some local Jalapeno Jelly add just the right amount of sweet heat to light up smiles all around the table.
Finally, in keeping with Dutch ingenuity, The Big Lick Mountain Burger is oh so very versatile. For starters you can completely change the taste of the burger by simply using a different potato chip. If there is a BBQ fanatic in your group just use BBQ chips. Its that easy. Or add fresh basil to the butter in the middle of the burger of a gourmet surprise. If there are children at the table just substitute beef broth or water for the bourbon called for in this adult style weekender version. I hope you enjoy, and happy grilling.
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
3/4 cup crushed potato chips (prefer ruffled variety)
1 / 4 cup good quality bourbon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 pats of butter at room temperature
Peanut oil for grill
6 Potato Buns preferably Pennsylvania Dutch Style
6 tablespoons cream cheese
6 tablespoons Jalapeno Jelly (or other pepper jelly)
6 leaves Ice Burg lettuce, cold
6 teaspoons Jalapeno Jelly, or other hot pepper jelly
6 thin slices of ripe tomato
To make the patties, first place ground beef in a bowl and set aside. Next place potato chips into a quart size plastic bag. Close the bag and then gently crush the chips using the palm of your hands or a roller, being careful not to pulverize the chips, but to make them into very small pieces but still recognizable as potato chips. Crush and then measure until you have 1 cup of crushed chips. Place crushed chips into a bowl and then add the bourbon to the chips. Stir gently together and set aside until the slightly softened, perhaps 2-3 minutes.
To the potato chip mixture add 2 tablespoons brown sugar and mix to incorporate. Now add the potato chip mixture to the ground beef and work in well using your hands to fully incorporate the chip mixture throughout the ground beef.
Next divide the ground beef into six equal size portions. Into the center of each portion place a pat of butter and then shape the burger around the butter into patties. Pay particular attention when forming the patties to the size of the buns you have purchased, so that each burger extends just slightly outside the bun.
Set the burgers aside to rest for approximately 15 minutes while you prepare the grill.
Preheat a gas grill to medium – high. When the grill rack is heated, brush the rack with peanut oil and then allow the oil heat on the rack for a minute. Next place the burger patties on the grill and immediately reduce the heat to medium / low. Do not touch the patties or move them from their spot on the grill for at least 5 minutes. Depending on your preference, the patties will cook for between 5 and 8 minutes per side, 5 being a rarer burger and 8 well done. Halfway through the cooking time flip the burgers to the other side. This is the only time you are turning the burger. Do not press down on the burger during the cooking time. While the burgers finish place the buns on an upper rack to warm, cut side down, but being careful not to burn. Finish cooking the second side of each burger and transfer to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to rest while you prepare the buns.
Remove the toasted buns from the grill and then on the bottom of each bun spread 1 tablespoon of softened cream cheese. Place atop the cream cheese 1 tablespoon of Jalapeno Jelly. Next please a lettuce leaf on each bun atop the cream cheese and jelly, tearing the leaf so that it fits neatly on top and only overhangs slightly. Next place your burger and top with 1 teaspoon Jalapeno Jelly, finishing with a slice of tomato and then the top of the bun. Serve and enjoy.