The Delancey Street Delicatessen Burgers

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.

When I was growing up, Delancey Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan was the center of Jewish gastronomy.I’ve decided I wanted to make a tribute to all those great meals I had over there by creating this Delancey Street Delicatessen Burger. It incorporates all of the great ingredients so frequently seen in NYC delicatessens. A beef & pastrami burger (with challah bread crumbs) is topped with melted Emmenthal cheese, poppy seed cole slaw, and dill pickle slices and served on a toasted egg hamburger bun with whole grain Dijon mustard. This burger is obviously extremely Jewish in origin, but at the same time it’s a great American burger. Oy gevalt!


Poppy Seed Cole Slaw:
1 cup prepared cole slaw
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon celery salt

3 half-inch slices of raisin challah, toasted
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 pound pastrami, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 thick slices Emmenthal cheese
6 challah (or egg) hamburger buns, sliced lengthwise

2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
3 dill pickles, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices


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

To make the poppy seed cole slaw, place the cole slaw, poppy seeds, and celery salt in a large bowl. Mix until well combined. Refrigerate until serving.

To make the patties, break the challah into many pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until the finely ground.
Place the challah bread crumbs into a large bowl. Add beef, pastrami, dill, celery salt, and pepper. 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, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last 3 minutes of grilling, place a slice of Emmenthal cheese on each patty. Also, during the last few minutes of grilled, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, place a thin layer of mustard over the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place 3 slices of dill pickle side-by-side, a cheese-topped patty, and an equal amount of poppy seed cole slaw. Add the bun tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers.