God bless America and copycat burgers
What are you doing for your Independence Day celebration? Grilling out? Let’s hope!
We’ve got some delicious restaurant recipe burgers for you, copycats if you will. Take inspiration from these restaurant-quality burgers from some of our local chefs who know a thing or two about a great burger. We have some criteria though; The burgers had to have easy-to-find ingredients and be not too difficult to cook and assemble. Please note the recipes listed don’t always tell you to cook the burger. We figure that’s a given. Another given is to season the meat. If you don’t do that, you can’t complain that it doesn’t taste chef quality. A little salt saves lives. As for cooking, you can grill or griddle to your doneness, whatever your heart desires.
Burger Batch’s Figgy Piggy
Few burger joints opened with as much anticipation as Burger Batch…because it was nearly the first, and now there are many that’s followed on its heels. The most popular burger at Winston-Salem (and now High Point’s) beloved BB is called the Figgy Piggy. Owner Tim Walker assures us it’s very easy to make.
Onion, sliced thinly
To caramelize onions, heat oil or butter in a skillet. Add onions, a little salt, and cook on low to medium-low heat until very soft and deep caramel brown. Allow plenty of time for it to render down. While the onions are cooking, crisp the bacon. Assemble the burger with goat cheese, caramelized onions, then add bacon. Spread jam on the top bun and bottom too, if you wish.
Providence Restaurant/Providence Culinary Training and Chef Jeff Bacon’s CHA! Burger
Get ready for a little kick in the pants. This is a riff off Providence’s Black Tie Burger served in the restaurant. This burger has all the spice. The burger is spicy, the bacon is spicy, the pickles can be spicy (if you buy them that way), the ranch is…well, you get it.
6-ounce each burger of chuck, brisket and short rib, in patties
Bacon (jalapeno flavor if possible)
Crispy fried onions (make your own or just by the iconic ones in the canister)
Pepper jack cheese
Sweet and sour pickles or a spicy variety
CHA! Ranch sauce
Onion rolls (buttered and griddled/toasted on the inside)
CHA! Ranch sauce:
1 and 1/2 cups ranch dressing
4 tbs. CHA! by Texas Pete
4 tbs. Canned chipotles in sauce, pureed.
Sprinkle patties with blackening spice. Prepare the ranch sauce while the burgers cook.
Crisp the bacon. Cook patties to preferred doneness. Add cheese just at the end. Place burger on bun, top with bacon, add one ounce of crispy onions. Drizzle 1 tbs. of CHA! ranch over each burger. Add three pickles and top bun.
Sophie’s Cork and Ale’s Donut Burger with Raspberry Jam, Candied Bacon, American Cheese and a Fried Egg.
Chef John Wilson likes to make a big burger. And maybe…just maybe…if you’re going to have doughnuts in the house for your holiday, save a few for this indulgent beast, which he says is super popular and fun to make.
“People are always like, ‘when are you gonna do the doughnut burger again?’ Also, the waffle burger I’ve done is a huge hit every time. Plus they love the fact that I’m getting the doughnuts right around the corner at the local shop here in Lexington.”
Pick up some of your favorite doughnuts for buns (you can use two doughnuts or one cut in half for the bun). Pictured is a Red Donut Shop glazed doughnut.
8-ounces ground Angus beef for patty
Raspberry jam (Wilson does it all from scratch, but we won’t tell if you use store-bought)
2 cups frozen or fresh raspberries
2 cups of sugar
3 cups of water
Reduce about 3/4 of the way and cool to get jam consistency/texture
Place bacon on a sheet pan, bake in the oven until it is 3/4 of the way cooked, sprinkle brown sugar over top of bacon, finish in the oven.
Optional: Fried egg, cooked to your liking, and American cheese
Assemble and enjoy. Adding the optional fried egg and cheese starts to say, “brunch.” It’s still delicious without those add-ons.
Big Mac Att-Hack
Say it with me…Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun! This hack is my version of the icon, only a bit elevated. I’ve practiced plenty and it’s finally perfect. I omit one of the (in my opinion) unnecessary buns. If you make the onions this way, they’re better than the original. (For some reason I am not a fan of the teeny onions on the chain’s burgers.)
For the special sauce, you can always go with 1,000 Island Dressing. But I like making my own…it’s a little less sweet with more acid and tastes more “special saucy.” Also, no need to buy relish if you can chop pickles, which is what I do. Shredded lettuce is preferred. I almost always have Romaine on hand, so that’s what I use.
2 Beef patties
Cheese (your choice)
Pickles, sliced dill
Bun, sesame of course
You can finely mince fresh onion but I prefer 2 tbs. dried minced onion and add just enough water to moisten. Let them hang out until reconstituted. Voila!
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbs. ketchup or chili sauce
2-4 tsp. sweet pickle relish or pickles very finely chopped (sweet and/or sour)
1-2 tsp. of the pickle juice (or vinegar)
1/2-1 tbs. prepared minced onion
1 tsp. sugar
A few dashes of Texas Pete Hot Sauce
Mix the sauce together. This can be made well in advance and keeps nicely a few days. Grill the patties and toward the end lay on your cheese.
Spread onions and sauce on the bottom bun, arrange lettuce on top of the mixture, add patty with melted cheese, then special sauce on top of that. Add another layer of lettuce, the next patty with cheese then top with onions, pickles, lettuce and more sauce. You can give your self a little grace here. The flavor will be on point.
Burgers with bacon and barbecue
Burgers with Pimento Cheese
Burgers Carolina Style (chili, slaw, mustard)
Burgers with Beer Cheese (so good)
The recipes above will work with your choice of ground meat (i.e. sirloin, beef, prime rib, combination). Choose according to your taste and budget. Keep in mind these recipes ought to offer inspiration for your burger bonanza, to step out of the same old same old, lettuce tomato mayo or ketchup, mustard and pickles. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Replace your ground beef with something different such as ground lamb (or go all lamb). Or add sausage…even breakfast sausage! Or use meatloaf mix (found in the meat section). The differences in texture and flavor will ensure you don’t get bored with burger night. I learned a little tip from Meridian Restaurant owner/chef Mark Grohman, take ground beef, stuff it with a little round of Baby Bell cheese. Grill ‘er up. Instant and easy, cheese stuffed burger.
Have a Happy Independence Day!
Kristi Maier is a food writer, blogger and cheerleader for all things local who even enjoys cooking in her kitchen, though her kidlets seldom appreciate her efforts.