|Hangover Burger Lordsburg Taproom, La Verne CA|
When I was high-chair size, I remember a busy-body lady leaning over to me and chirping “Look at those lovely carrots… Are they what make your cheeks so rosy?” Speaking to strangers was a no-no, but this needed a reply.”No… meat.” I glared at the carrots. I knew what I liked.
The world today seems to be becoming anti-beef. Perhaps we Americans eat too much of it – but there it is. Most of us love it – especially the iconic burger. Here I give you a couple from our travels.
Hangover Burger, version from CA:
This jaw-widening treat is a half-pound patty of ground Kobe or Angus beef on a brioche bun, layered with onion strings, melted Muenster cheese and, importantly, chipotle bacon and chipotle mayonnaise and sauce. Smoked chipotle peppers (nee jalapeno) smoked after they dry out. You might be able to buy this salsa, or sauce. It isn’t overly picante – just smoky delicious.
*(Bacon recipe below, if you can’t find it at your market).
When the thick patty is cooked and the cheese slice well melted (I find medium rare best for flavor and juiciness, but my daughter-in-law recoils at pink) place 2 pieces of that outrageous bacon on it, spoon on a little chipotle salsa (chopped tomatoes and cilantro, 1 and 1/2 Tbs chopped canned chipotle peppers) – and slather chipotle aioli on the bun (more canned chipotle, mixed with mayonnaise – easy peasy) – then lay on some pungent arugula. Add a scant handful of thinnest onion strings for a perfect crunchiness – and top with a tender fried egg. Cover with the bun, pick it up with two hands, and have at it. Bon appétit!
Sooo good. And maybe it is good for a hangover… Or maybe it’s just that everything hangs over. (See photo above.)
- 6 slices thick-cut hickory smoked bacon
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon southwest chipotle seasoning, mix (Mrs. Dash, Tones, Konriko or homemade)
- 1⁄4teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Arrange slices on baking sheet; bake until almost crisp (8-9 minutes). Drain the drippings from baking sheet and discard.
- In small bowl, combine agave nectar, chipotle seasoning and pepper. Brush bacon with the chipotle mixture; bake until glazed (8-10 minutes).
Then there’s the glorious, succulent, unimaginably delicious Zin Burger, from the bistro of the same name, in Tucson. The caramelized onions can be sautéed in zinfandel, should you wish – or so can optional mushrooms, pictured here. The homemade buns are fresh-baked from potato flour with a touch of honey. And the cheese, warmed Manchego, nicely fits itself to the primo Kobe beef patty – all this sits on a blanket of delicately shredded lettuce.
Even my lettuce hater man likes it – the bed serves as a sponge for the burger’s savory juices. Soooo good.