Texas Honky Tonk Burger
When developing this burger, I incorporated ingredients that showcase the flavors found in much of the region’s cooking.Additionally, many of the ingredients are produced in the state. For example, Texas has been famous for it’s beef production since the cowboy era, and the popular Texas-grown Sweet Onion is the state vegetable. Likewise, many types of chile peppers are grown in Texas and widely used in the state’s cuisine. And finally, the Texas brewed beer adds a delightful tang to the beef patty. This burger makes you want to get up and dance the Two-Step!
2 pounds freshly ground chuck
1/2 cup Texas-brewed beer (I use Lone Star Beer)
1/2 cup minced sweet Texas-grown onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons hickory smoked salt (I use Spice Islands brand)
1/2 teaspoons salt
Grilled Green Tomatoes
2 medium green tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Goat Cheese Slather
5 ounces fresh mild goat cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
Charred Green Chile Butter
1 large Anaheim chile pepper
5 tablespoons butter, softened
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 thin slices Texas sweet onions
6 large iceburg lettuce leaves, torn to fit the buns
6 good-quality hamburger buns, split
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the patties, combine the chuck, beer, onion, garlic, smoked salt, and salt in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the buns. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
To prepare the green tomatoes, cut tomatoes crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, discarding stem ends and bottoms. In a large bowl, gently mix tomato slices, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
To make the goat cheese slather, combine goat cheese, mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, parsley and dill in a food processor bowl.. Process, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside, or refrigerate, and bring to room temperature before using.
When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil.
To make the green chile butter, place the green chile on the pre-heated grill rack and roast the chile, turning it occasionally until the skin is evenly charred. Transfer the charred chile to a small paper bag, close the bag, and let it sit until the chile is cool. Rub away the burnt peel and remove the stem and seeds from the chile. Finely chop the cooled chile. Combine the chile and the butter in a small bowl. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
To grill the tomatoes:
Lift tomatoes from marinade and lay on grill rack. Cover grill, and cook, turning once, until tomatoes are nicely browned, 6 to 10 minutes total. Remove tomatoes from grill and set aside.
To grill the burgers, place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium.
To grill the buns, spread the cut sides of the buns with equal portions of the green chile butter. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly during the last few minutes of grilling.
To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of the goat cheese slather over the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place a grilled patty, followed by slice of the green tomato, a slice of onion, and a lettuce leaf. Add the top bun and serve.