Slice of Life By Eileen Goltz
Growing up the only time my dad cooked was when it was barbeque time. This is not to say that my dad was a good barbeque-er but rather, he was an enthusiastic barbecuer who always surprised us with how he always managed to come within an inch of incinerating his culinary offerings. But trust me, even his disasters were delicious.
I have LOTS of interesting barbecue memories where my father got creative. Primary among them is the time he squirted a wee bit too much lighter fluid on a grill, a charred garage and the fire department visiting the neighborhood. Needless to say, as Father’s Day rolls around my thoughts turn to charred hot dogs (and garages) burnt burgers and all the creative mixtures he threw on the grill.
Actually “barbecue” is one of the most misused words in our cooking vocabulary. Putting steaks, hot dogs and hamburgers on a grill should be called “grilling” not barbecuing. In actuality, when you barbecue you’re supposed to slow-smoke meat at a low temperature for a long period of time, with a liquid or sauce (and smoke) as a flavoring and tenderizing agent.
As best as I can tell the origins of barbecuing are in the early 1500’s when Spanish explorers found natives of the West Indies preserving meats in the sun. They had a word for this process, “barbacoa”. It’s assumed that this is where the modern word barbecue came from. When the European immigrants began settling the southern United States the racks were replaced with pits and smokehouses.
The modern concept of barbecuing meat with a sauce traces its beginnings to the western cattle drives of the mid to late 1800’s. The bosses weren’t inclined to use prime cuts of meat to feed their cowboys so tougher cuts like brisket cooked in chili flavored sauces were used.
So, in honor of all the men out there who fulfill the role of dad here are some of my all time favorite grilled burger recipes. They’re the perfect gift to share with the dad you love the most.
GYRO LAMB BURGER (meat)
Yields 2 burgers
- 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ¼ cup minced yellow onion
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon each finely chopped parsley, mint, and dill
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup pareve white cheese substitute
- 5 or 6 romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves shredded
- 8 black olives roughly chopped
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped (you can use fresh tomatoes)
- 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 hamburger buns, toasted
- Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the onions and cook until browned, about 6 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Transfer onions to a plate; let cool.
- In a bowl, mix the onions, lamb, mustard, herbs, spices, garlic, and salt and pepper.
- Form meat into two thick patties and then set them aside.
- Prepare a grill to medium-high (or heat a Tablespoon of oil in a large skillet). Grill burgers, flipping once, until browned and cooked to desired doneness, about 10 minutes for medium rare.
- In a small bowl, combine pareve cheese, lettuce, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes; toss with the remaining oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
- Place each burger on the bottom half of a bun and top each with the vegetables and bun top.
This recipe can be doubled or tripled
Modified from a recipe by Michael Psilakis, the chef at Anthos, NY, NY
Donald Trump’s Mar A Lago Turkey Burger (meat)
Oprah tried this turkey burger at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s club in Palm Beach and said she thought it was maybe the best turkey burger in the entire world
- ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
- ½ cup finely chopped celery
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
- 1/8 cup oil
- 4 lbs. ground turkey breast
- 2 Tablespoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon Tabasco® chipotle pepper sauce
- 1 lemon, juiced and grated zest
- ½ bunch parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ cup orange marmalade
- Sauté the scallions, celery and apples in the oil until they are tender. Let cool.
- Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add the sautéed items and the remaining ingredients.
- Shape into eight burgers.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Season the turkey burgers with salt and pepper. Place on a preheated, lightly oiled grill.
- Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked.
- Let sit for 5 minutes.
Serve on a roll or bun.
Modified from Oprah.com
Taco Burgers (meat)
Yields 6 burgers
- 1 cup finely crushed corn chips
- 1 envelope taco seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1½ lbs. ground beef
- 6 slices pareve cheddar cheese
- Sandwich buns, split
- Lettuce leaves
- Tomato slices
- Salsa to taste
- In a large bowl, combine the corn chips, taco seasoning, onion and egg.
- Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.
- Shape into six patties.
- Grill, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 inches from the heat for 7-8 minutes on each side.
- Top each burger with a pareve cheese slice; cook just until cheese begins to melt.
Serve on buns with lettuce, tomato and salsa.
Modified from tasteofhome.com
Pizza Burgers (meat)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
- ¾ teaspoon dried basil
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 4 pareve white cheese
- 4 English muffins, split and toasted
- ½ to 1 cup pizza sauce
- In a large bowl, combine the egg, onion, parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary and pepper. Mix to combine.
- Add the beef and mix to combine. Shape the mixture into four patties.
- Grill the burgers, covered, over a medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes on each side until they are the desired doneness.
- Top burgers with the pareve cheese; cover and grill 2 to 3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Serve on muffins topped with pizza sauce.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.
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