Grill Like a Champion!

Pushing the Burger Envelope

Everyone loves burgers. Some like them simple with maybe ketchup and mustard. Some like them with a few more complexities such as onion, lettuce and bacon. And then there are the gourmet types that go to extremes with custom-made aioli, fermented mushroom spread and smoked cheese. Say what?

In Grilling with House of Q, my cookbook, I describe some of my favorite burgers. Some that have won awards, others I just simply like to eat. I also described my best burger tips in a side-bar story.

Now that I have my Char-Broil TRU-Infrared grills to play with, I wanted to create some burgers, review a recipe that I wrote a while ago and see if my family still liked them! I know that bacon on the grill would be a good test for the Char-Broil grill grates and the crust of my burgers was another task I wanted to see on this new technology. The burger I want to do also needs a fried egg and the side burner on the Commercial 3-Burner Grill was a perfect to do this.

WaffleBurger5782_WEBsmallThe burger I have in mind is my breakfast burger – the Jalapeno and Cheese Cornbread Waffle Burger (featured in the Great Canadian Cookbook on Food Network Canada). Yes, it IS okay to have a burger for breakfast. But then again, why do we restrict ourselves to the beautiful flavours of the morning to just the morning? What’s wrong with a sausage patty with an egg on top served at 7 PM? I say that is just fine.

Now, my point in sharing this recipe is to stimulate your creativity when you create burgers at home. Think beyond the round, sesame crusted bun with the five usual toppings of ketchup, mustard, onion, lettuce and tomato. Okay there’s seven…  bacon and cheese.

This is my Jalapeno and Cheese Cornbread Waffle Burger – a mouthful.

Breakfast sausage burgers
1 Tbsp sea salt or kosher salt
1 Tbsp ground dried sage
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground dried thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 lbs ground pork
1 lb bacon, cut in thick slices
6 to 8 very thick slices aged cheddar cheese
6 to 8 eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 to 4 Tbsp House of Q Slow Smoke Gold BBQ Sauce or your favourite prepared mustard

Jalapeño ’n’ cheese cornbread waffles
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 to 1 cup grated aged cheddar cheese (or more, actually)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Breakfast Sausage Burgers

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper.

Waffle Burger Sausage Patty SpicesIn a large bowl, stir together the salt, sage, red pepper flakes, coriander, ginger, thyme and cayenne pepper until well combined. Using your hands, mix the ground pork into the spices until the spices are evenly distributed throughout the meat. Divide the meat mixture into 6 to 8 equal balls, and then form each one into a burger patty.

Arrange the patties on the baking sheet, and freeze them for 30 minutes so the flavours can meld while you clean up and then prepare the waffles, the bacon and your grill.

Jalapeño ’n’ Cheese Cornbread Waffles

In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, jalapeño peppers and cheese until well mixed.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the vegetable oil and buttermilk until thoroughly blended. Pour the wet ingredients into the cornmeal mixture, and whisk until well blended.

Grease and preheat the waffle iron. Add 1 to 2 cups of the batter, close the lid and cook the waffle(s) until it is brown, crisp and cooked. Transfer the cooked waffle(s) to a plate, and keep warm either in your oven or on the cool side of your grill. Repeat with the remaining waffle batter. (You should have 12 to 16 waffles.)

Finish Burgers

Grilled BaconPrepare your grill for direct grilling, medium heat. Line a plate with paper towels.

Place the bacon on the grill and cook until the fat starts to render and crisp. Transfer to the paper towels to drain, and set aside. Place the burgers on the grill and cook until colour has been established, 8 to 10 minutes. Flip the
burgers, and arrange 2 to 3 strips of bacon and a thick slice of cheese on each patty. Close the lid of your grill and continue to cook the burgers until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 160°F. Remove from the grill and keep warm while you finish the rest of the dish.

Preheat a skillet on your grill side-burner or on the stove. Once it is hot, add the eggs Grilling Breakfast Sausage Burgersand fry, sunny side up, until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Remove from the heat.

To Assemble

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and Slow Smoke Gold together. Smear some of the mixture on a waffle, and add a burger patty and a fried egg. Top with another waffle. Serve immediately—with a stack of napkins!

Review

As a reminder, I wanted to revisit this burger recipe just to see if my family still liked it.  Well, the burgers I made got devoured in seemingly a nano-second so um, yup, still liked them! They were really flavourful! Big and rewarding.

For the Char-Broil grill I wanted test cooking bacon, creating the crust on the burger and cooking an egg on the side-burner.  The bacon cooked really quickly so my tip to those with a TRU-Infrared grill is to turn the heat down (!!).  It’s really easy to burn bacon and cooking at a low temperature got me the results I was looking to achieve.  The same goes for the burger crust which I loved and cooking the egg on the side burner was as easy and straight forward as indoors on my stove. Cooking on these Char-Broil grills is going to be fun!

If you need a little more about this recipe, here is a quick video showing you the final steps…

BBQ Brian

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