Isn’t she lovely… isn’t she beautiful!
I don’t usually have crushes on hamburgers, but this girl really shines in so many ways I can’t help but be infatuated! The Brie & Berry Burger, simply the best burger ever!
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She’s elegant without being pretentious; she’s sophisticated without being stuffy; she’s classy without being snobby; she’s simply the best burger ever! Can you tell I’m serious about this girl? I am… and I don’t get too excited over burgers, usually. In fact, I can take them or leave them. It’s my husband who absolutely loves a good burger!
When I ask Jeff what he wants for dinner, 8 times out of 10 he will say hamburgers. He likes them all kinds of ways and over the years we have come up with some pretty delicious toppings; his favorite being Apple Sauced Burgers. I would say mine was a peanut butter & banana version… that is until the oh-so-impressive Brie & Berry Burger entered my life! This is how it happened.
Police Helicopters and Brie & Berry Burgers
Jeff and I were taking our nephew to visit a local police helicopter. Our nephew is five and he is obsessed with police everything, so Jeff made arrangements with his friend who flies the helicopter to show our nephew around.
It was around 3pm when we finished up and Jeff and I were starving. We thought about catching an early dinner, but nothing sounded good. I decided to cook and when I asked Jeff what he wanted for dinner… yep, you guessed it. Hamburgers.
Being the good wife I am, I said sure and immediately began thinking of an interesting burger to make. I already knew I would grind my own meat to make our super secret (don’t worry, I’m sharing it with you soon) hamburger blend. Now, to think of interesting toppings. Jeff threw out apples, but we do so much with apples I nixed that one. Berries… berries are so pretty. What goes with berries? Brie! There you have it… the Brie & Berry Burger it will be. Thanks to the police helicopter outing, my adorable nephew, and my wonderful husband… the Brie & Berry Burger entered my life and now it can enter yours too!
Meat blends & buns are the secret to a perfect burger
Let’s Talk Buns
Over the years, I’ve realized that a good burger (no matter what toppings you use) must have two key elements: the perfect bun and the perfect meat blend. About a year ago, we mastered the meat blend (I will be sharing this with you!)… but finding the perfect bun was an elusive and frustrating endeavor.
The perfect bun has to be: the right size for the patty; soft enough to bite, but not so soft it falls apart; and the density has to be just right. When I tell you I’ve tried EVERY kind of bun I can find locally… I mean I’ve tried EVERY kind of bun that I can find locally and none of them has been perfect. I’ve even made a few versions myself and they were better, but not the best… UNTIL I found this recipe! Light Brioche Hamburger Buns by the Clever Carrot.
Even if you’ve never made bread or rolls before, you can make these Light Brioche Hamburger Buns! The instructions are easy to follow and the result is… well, the BEST hamburger bun EVER!
Let’s Talk Beef
Sure, you can go to your local supermarket and buy ground beef. You can even upgrade and buy the super fancy (and expensive) stuff… but, you can also grind it yourself very easily and there is nothing like freshly ground beef to make your hamburgers with! We’ve done some experimenting and found that we like to use three different cuts of beef to make our ground beef. Fat is an important factor in making the best possible ground beef, so I like to use a super fatty cut like short ribs for 1/3 of the blend. The blend we used this time: 1.78 lbs of Beef Chuck Short Ribs, 1.05 lbs of Petite Sirloin, and 1.28 lbs Beef Chuck Country Style Ribs Boneless. Our cost was $24.22 and we yielded 3.66 lbs of ground beef. That’s about $6.62 per pound. Not too bad! In our area 80/20 ground beef can run over $6.00 per pound!
Here’s how we do it!
If you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer get the grinder attachment. You can find it on Amazon for only $39.00! It’s money worth spending in my opinion. We’ve made homemade sausage, ground pork, ground chicken (this saves tons of money), and of course the BEST burger blend! If you don’t have a Kitchen Aide Mixer, you can find some reasonable priced electric meat grinders on Amazon.
*When I grind meat using my Kitchen Aid grinder attachment, I use the large dye first to get a large grind and then run the ground meat back through using the smaller dye.
Cut the meat off of the bone and cut it into pieces that will fit through the tube of your grinder. Turn the mixer on low (I use the first setting) and feed the meat through the top, using the plunger (that comes with the attachment or machine) to push the meat down. Then the magic starts to happen! I get excited every time I see the meat coming out the other end! I can’t help it… I’m strange that way!
As you grind the different cuts of beef, you’ll see the short ribs are very fatty. This is a good thing… well maybe not health-wise, but definitely taste-wise! I always say, if you’re going to do it… do it right! The fat will not only improve the taste (the burger doesn’t taste fatty), it also helps to keep the burger moist. One you run all the meat through the large dye, switch to the smaller dye and run it through again. Voilà! You have the most beautiful bowl of freshly ground beef you could ever ask for! Did you know that in the 70’s, the hip hors d’oeuvre was serving ground beef with crackers? I’m talking super market ground beef! That was the beef tartare of the 70’s. See… grind your own, please!
Brie & Berry Burger Time!
Or I should say, Yum Yum time! When you are ready to make your burger, take the meat out of the fridge and form your patties. I use a nifty little gadget from Pampered Chef. The Burger and Slider Press works great to make perfectly formed patties (either full-size or slider-size), but hand forming works too! Just be sure to make them flat with a slight depression in the middle so they don’t puff up like balls. Season each patty with salt and pepper on both sides. Notice we didn’t add salt and pepper to the ground beef mixture; the best way to season your hamburgers is on the outside! Don’t believe me? I get it. I didn’t believe it either and always added the seasoning into the ground beef before forming the patties. Then, I tried it “their” way, “their” being the professionals! Never again will I add seasoning into the ground beef unless I’m making meatloaf. Try it… I bet you won’t either!
To make the burgers you will need:
- Ground Beef (if not grinding your own, buy the best quality 80/20 or ask the butcher to grind it for you)
- Raspberries and Blackberries
- Butter Lettuce
- Red Onion
- Salt & Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- A good quality hamburger bun (you won’t be sorry if you make the recipe by the Clever Carrot!)
While the formed burgers come to room temperature (this is important for even cooking), place your rinsed berries in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp of honey and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes (optional). I love adding a spicy component to offset the sweet of the fruit and honey. Cook for about 5-8 minutes. Stir occasionally. You want some of the berries to stay whole while creating a sauce, so don’t break them up or over-stir. If you are using an outdoor grill, heat it up now. Cut the rind off of the Brie.
If using and indoor grill pan (that’s what I used because Spring has not hit Maryland yet!), heat it on medium. You want the pan very hot, but not quite smoking to sear those delicious burgers without burning them. My favorite grill pan is one from Pampered Chef. WOW! Look at those grill marks! I love that it’s bigger than the older one I had and the handle comes off! That way, you can sear the meat and finish it in the oven if need be. It works perfectly for thick steaks.
The trick to getting perfect grill marks: place your burger in a hot (but not quite smoking) grill pan. Leave it there for about two minutes. Turn it 1/4 turn in either direction and leave the burger alone for two more minutes. Flip and repeat. We like our burgers medium rare, so this 8 minute cook works perfectly when we cook 8 ounce burgers that are formed with my handy dandy gadget. When your burgers are done, let them rest at least 5 minutes. This gives you time to get your bun ready for the deliciousness that awaits it. Take your burger to the next level and grill your bun! Place your bun in the grill pan for just a minute or two and you’ll have beautiful grill marks on your bun.
Assembly & Eating Time!
Take your freshly grilled bun and coat it, top and bottom, with honey. I used about 1/2 Tbsp for each bun. Place butter lettuce and red onion slice on the bottom. Top with burger. Spoon the berry mixture on top. Close bun. Devour!
Brie & Berry Burger
- 2 lbs ground beef see post for grinding your own
- 1 pint raspberries
- 1 pint blackberries
- 4 Tbsp honey divided
- 4 oz Brie cheese rind removed
- 4 quality hamburger buns
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- Form 8 ounce burger patties. I use a handy gadget that makes perfectly formed burgers.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on each side of burger patty. Allow to burgers to come to room temp.
- Rinse berries and place in saute pan over medium heat.
- Add 2 Tbsp honey. Cook over medium for 5-8 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat.
- Heat outdoor grill or grill pan on medium heat. You want the grill pan to be very hot, but not smoking.
- Remove rind from the brie cheese.
- Cook burgers to desired temp.
- Add brie the last 2 minutes of grilling.
- Remove burgers and allow to rest at least 5 minutes.
- Grill bun while waiting for burgers to rest (optional).
- Coat top and bottom of bun with 1/2 Tbsp honey.
- Place butter lettuce and onion on bottom bun.
- Add delicious burger
- Top with 1/4 of the berry sauce.
- Close bun and devour!