My wife works in a restaurant with long hours often and sometimes I just need a really simple and fast meal to make to order. Arriving home at random times after a 12 hour shift means I have to make something delicious and filling but ideally ready in 15 minutes. Anything much longer than that and she’s stopping at Taco Bell on the way home…
This is one of those 15 minute meals but I have to be honest and say I’m cheating a little because the caramelized onions are pre-made and were in the fridge ready to go… but you should always have some on hand anyway. They go with EVERYTHING.
I can be slightly obsessive with food, I love to think up new recipes and see if they work. Every time I eat out, I scout the menu for interesting ideas and I dissect the food I order to work out exactly how it’s made and what the flavors are.
The Holidays are, therefore, my thing. Getting all the vacation time is great and I love to spend time with the family. But it’s all about the food for me, and the wine, and the beer. Oh, did I mention the food?
I have a few Holiday recipes to post over the next few days just to give you some ideas I hope but I’m sharing this burger now because I really hope you’ll try it. It’s so quick and easy, has the perfect mix of sweet and savory and takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish 👍
The idea was to combine some of my favorite Holiday tastes – cranberry, Brie and, of course, bacon with the beef burger and this is what I came up with. Served on a brioche bun on a bed of baby spinach and topped with those delicious onions. You’ll love the juiciness of the burger and the Thanksgiving and Christmas memories of food it delivers.
You’ll seriously be amazed at the way these taste like a Christmas Day meal! They’re so good and absolutely easy enough to make any night of the week! I expected these turn out good – I mean a burger topped with bacon and caramelized onions couldn’t be bad – but I was blown away by how much we all enjoyed these burgers.
Use the ground beef and form into 4 spheres of equal size. Use your thumb to press into the center of the meat and add in the brie, around 2″ x 1″ pieces we used. Then reform the patty around the cheese and flatten into this traditional burger shape. Season generously with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Place in the skillet that’s preheated to medium oil with a little canola or vegetable oil (and the remnants of our caramelized onions here) and fry for around 3 minutes on each side – don’t play about with patty and don’t press on it with your spatula; that causes the meat to lose it’s juiciness. You’re looking for a deep brown crust on each side. Set the burgers aside after cooking each one and keep them warm. Lightly toast your buns and we can begin the build. Cooking complete!
You can, of course, substitute some ground turkey for the beef- the combination of flavors works equally well. However, turkey is a lot drier than this ground beef and I felt the juiciness added so much.
Start the build with a lightly toasted sesame seed bun or bun of your choice. Add 4 or 5 pieces of baby spinach leafs. This will provide a great taste and, importantly, stop the base of the bun getting soggy. At this stage, if you like, you add mayonnaise or maybe a garlic aioli to the bun base – some like the added moisture, some do not – I preferred it.
Look at that beautifully seared burger with just the tiniest amount of Brie starting to bubble out of the patty. Lay the hot burger on the crisp spinach.
Spoon over around a Tablespoon and a half of cranberry preserve – you can use whole cranberries or a cranberry jelly. This provides the essential sweetness and a perfect foil to the saltiness of the Brie.
Add on 3 or 4 pieces of crispy bacon – we used black pepper bacon that we pre-cooked but you can use any kind of bacon, just make sure it’s crispy!
Final step is to add the caramelized onions to add the fabulous umami to this burger.
I didn’t serve any sides with this because I also ate the Englishman’s fabulous Sloppy Joe Burger ( yes, a burger with a side of burger 😶) but this would go great with mashed potatoes and onion gravy! Or our garlic truffle fries! Not so Thanksgiving-y but it’s all about the taste, right?
So hey! Try this out and let me know if you like it or any ideas to improve it. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this was one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten (and my wife works in a burger restaurant 😉).