Celebrate Chicago Burger
I’m a real Midwestern boy, and I love Chicago and all of its people so I wanted to create a burger that puts all of Chicago’s major ethnic influences into one burger.And, like the city, it all works as one unified whole!! There’s kielbasa in the patty (Polish). There’s Greek-flavored onions. There’s Brown Butter Sweet Potatoes (African-American). And there’s burrata cheese (Italian). There’s also Smoky Tomato Mayo for the recent influx of Mexican immigrants to Chicago. All of this gets put on a Kaiser roll (German!). By putting all these great culinary contributions together, you’ve got a Chicago burger that really gets to the heart of Chicago.
Smoky Tomato Mayo:
1 large tomato
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lime juice
Brown Butter Sweet Potatoes:
Water, for boiling
1 large sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 sweet onions, peeled and sliced
Pinch dried oregano leaves
3 tablespoons white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
1/2 pound kielbasa, ground in a food processor
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 ounces burrata cheese (or fresh mozzarella)
6 Kaiser roll, split
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
In order to make Smoky Tomato Mayo, place tomato on grill and grill for 8-10 minutes, turning occassionally, or until the skin has become totally blackened. Let cool. Remove the blackened skin and discard; chop the remaining tomato; discard seeds. In the bowl of a food processor, combine tomato, garlic, smoked paprika, mayonnaise, and lime juice; puree. Refrigerate until serving.
In order to make Brown Butter Sweet Potatoes, fill a large fireproof saucepan halfway with water and place over high heat. Bring to a boil. Add sweet potato slices and cook for 5 minutes. Drain sweet potatoes. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large fireproof skillet. Add sugar and sweet potatoes and cook for 3 minutes per side or until sufficiently caramelized. Set aside.
In order to make Greek Onions, heat oil in a large fireproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occassionally. Add oregano, white wine, and lemon juice and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
In order to make the patties, combine the beef, kielbasa, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns.
Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of grilling, place an equal amount of burrata cheese on each patty. Also, during the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
In order to assemble the burgers, place a generous amount of Smoky Tomato Mayo on the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, place a patty with cheese, some Brown Butter Sweet Potato slices, and an equal amount of Greek onions. Add the roll tops.
Makes 6 burgers.