Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kahlua Burgers

Hubby loves the hamburgers I've been making since before we got married. Truth be told, I'd love to branch out and make some other kinds of burgers, but he wants these. Every time. Any time I talk about making something else he says, I really like them the way you always make them. (Sigh) Sometimes it's a good thing to have a man who knows what he likes. LOL

Making the burgers isn't hard, but I do take some care that might seem like overkill to you. I always make a big batch because it's no harder to mix 4 lbs of meat than it is to mix 2 lbs and you can freeze what you don't eat for the first dinner. It's nice to have a bunch of burger patties in the freezer for those nights when you can't or don't want to cook.

Pixie's Kahlua Burgers

2 lb. ground chuck (very cold)
2 lb. ground sirloin (very cold)
2/3 package Lipton onion soup mix
1/3 c. Kahlua
a few shots of Worcestershire sauce

Put all the ingredients into the biggest bowl you own. I pre-chill the bowl because the burgers seem to come out better if everything stays cold. In fact, when I have the time I mix the meat and put the bowl into the fridge, the burgers are better if the flavors have time to meld together for a couple of hours before forming and cooking the burgers. The key to mixing the meat is to break through the meats to allow the seasoning and kahlua to coat as much as possible without squishing it all to death. You aren't making meatloaf so don't mush the heck out of it. Combine all the ingredients as thoroughly as possible without overworking the meat. (Okay, so I've said it three times in three different ways, did you get the message?) Rest it in the fridge if you have the time.

I weigh the meat before forming the burgers. My burgers are 7-8 ounce patties. Hint: I wrap my scale in plastic wrap to make the clean up super easy. I compact them making fairly flat hockey puck shaped burgers. They get laid out on a half sheet pan (which is easy to carry out to the grill) with plastic wrap between layers if I'm making a bunch of them. I have learned from experience to make my burgers wider and flatter than I think necessary, they will draw up as they cook.

I cook over high heat on the grill. I don't squish the burgers flat as they cook, and I don't poke them. I lay them down and leave them alone. Close the lid and walk away, usually to take the dirty sheet pan back into the kitchen, prep a clean tray for removing the burgers and other little chores. About ten minutes. When I come back to the grill I'm looking for little pools of pink juices to gather on top of the patties, also the sides of the burgers are showing "cooked" more than half way up. A quick swish of a spatula and they are all flipped. If I'm going to add cheese I do it now. Close the lid again and walk away again, but just about five minutes. I test my burgers by touching the middle, if it feels bouncy it's done. If it feels soft I leave it for another minute. If someone likes them well done (bless their hearts) I might flip it back over when it's "done" and give it a couple more minutes until it no longer bounces when it's touched (such a shame, in my opinion).

The kahlua causes great carmelization on the burger and gives a little "what is that flavor" yum to the finished product without killing the great taste of beef. Sometimes if I can find a good pineapple I'll grill slices of fresh pineapple go with the burgers, but canned pineapple never works for me, I don't know why. We also grill onion along with the burgers.

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