Saturday, March 17, 2012

red wine soaked burger with gouda, caramelized onions and rosemary aioli

I love New York City. I know that probably seems like the dumbest and most obvious thing out there that any person could say - akin, perhaps to announcing that you enjoy oxygen - but believe it or not, it's not. Adam is not a lover of New York City. He's not big on noise or crowds. He doesn't get the crazy eye when shopping. If anything, he gives the stink eye when shopping. He hates stuff and pretty things. Adam and New York City don't really get along. He is good to me though - he indulged me a few years ago when I wanted to visit the city for ten, yes TEN, days. Ten glorious days of shopping, eating, museum-going and generally gawping at things I'd seen on TV.

Now that I live in Montreal, it's a little easier visit New York. When my mom came to visit last month, I suggested we take a mini vacation, since a) it's fun and b) she's never been. After a long day of doing touristy things, and after having spent the day with all the good intentions of going somewhere a little less cheesy for dinner, we admitted defeat and picked the first restaurant we could within a one mile radius of our hotel. Proximity and rosemary aioli won me over to the Union Square Five Napkin Burger, which admittedly is fraught with Cactus Club style douchebaggery, but actually had a pretty good burger.

Of course, I planned to recreate this burger as soon as possible. As soon as possible ended up being about 2 weeks later (and one week ago). Here it is. Delicious and amazing.

I'm just going to come out and say it. I put red wine in the meat. I was cleaning out my fridge and had a bottle with some dregs that were probably about a week old - no good for drinking, obviously - and was seconds from pouring it down the sink when I decided to pour it in the beef instead. I'm so glad I did, because it absolutely sang with the beef, rosemary and onions. But don't go out and buy wine for it, unless, of course, you plan on drinking it with your meal! (Which I most heartily recommend).

burger with caramelized onions and rosemary aioli
Inspired by Five Napkin Burger

Makes 4 burgers

1 1/2 lbs extra lean ground beef
1 teaspoon minced shallot
3-4 tablespoons red wine
salt and freshly cracked pepper
4 slices of gouda or gruyere
caramelized onions
rosemary aioli
4 buns, halved

caramelized onions
5 medium onions, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine
(note - the measurements for the caramelized onions are approximate.)

rosemary aioli
1 cup mayonnaise (not miracle whip! very very very important)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic

  • rosemary aioli
    • In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and refrigerate until using.
  • onions 
    • Turn a large, heavy-bottomed pot onto medium (possibly medium high) heat and heat the olive oil. Add the sliced onions. When sautéing, let the onions stick slightly before turning them - but don't let them burn. This is how they caramelize. Scrape the bottom of the pot.
    • Once the onions have softened and are beginning to turn brown, add the wine and reduce heat to medium low, scraping all the oniony goodness from the bottom. Continue with the intermittent sticking and scraping until the onions are very soft and brown. Total cooking time should be between 45 minutes and an hour.
  • beef patties
    • In a medium bowl, combine ground beef, shallots, red wine, salt & pepper. Scrunch together with clean hands until the wine is absorbed and the seasonings are distributed.
    • Fry or grill your burgers until they are no longer pink in the middle (for me it was about 5-6 minutes on each side, medium-high heat. I don't have a barbecue). Melt the cheese over the top.
  • Assemble your burger as you see fit, but mine was great with just the bun, aioli, burger, cheese, onions and lettuce.

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