Monday, March 14, 2011
St. Patrick's Day Burgers with Irish Whiskey Onions & Cheddar
In some ways, we're all about (Irish-American) tradition. St. Patrick's Day is the perfect time to pull out all the stops when it comes to dinner. First, you need a slab of Corned Beef Brisket, accompanied by some delicious cabbage and a pile of potatoes (boiled, roasted, or smashed). A nice Irish Stout is usually the beverage of choice. And it would be a shame to end our St. Patrick's Day feast without a slice or two of Irish Whiskey Cake.
But, we also find ourselves longing to change things up a little bit every now and again. And that's when we come up with delicious experiments like Cheesy Colcannon with Leeks and Reuben Risotto.
This year, our imaginations got the best of us. Peef was craving burgers. And he'd read something somewhere about braising onions in Irish Whiskey. Needless to say, we decided it sounded like a pretty winning combination. So, we got to work.
First, it only seemed right that an Irish burger, similar to a Reuben, would be served on rye bread. So, we mixed up a batch of our favorite focaccia dough (yeah, yeah, I know -- Italian dough for an Irish sandwich...) -- only we subbed out all of the all-purpose flour with rye flour. And we kneaded a small handful of caraway seeds into the dough.
While the bread baked, I set to work caramelizing a nice big batch of onions. When the onions were just about finished, I swirled in a nice splash of Power's Irish Whiskey, which functioned to deglaze the pan and impart a nice, smooth malty flavor to the sweet onions.
Since I figured it wouldn't hurt to tie in a little bit of "corned beef" action, I also hauled out some classic corning spices like juniper berries, allspice, mustard, coriander and cinnamon and ground them up in our spice grinder. These got mixed in with the better part of pound of fresh ground beef. We grilled the burgers to medium-rare on our stove-top grill pan and then topped them with slices of Irish Dubliner cheese, cooking them just long enough for the cheese to melt & begin drooping down the sides.
By the time the focaccia was finished baking, we were both drooling like maniacs. Almost didn't get pictures of the burgers, we were so hungry...
And so, I present: The Irish Burger. This deliciously spiced grass-fed ground beef burger sits atop a slice of sourdough rye foccaccia. It's enrobed with the slightly sweet, nutty tang of the cheese and topped off with the impeccably sweet and flavorful Irish Whiskey-infused onions.
Irish Burgers with Whiskey-Caramelized Onions
Sourdough Rye Focaccia
©BURP! Where Food Happens
Want more? Read Lo's latest ruminations at FOODCrush, her Milwaukee Magazine blog.