Chuck’s Grilled Smashburgers with Cheese and Caramelized Onions

Make your next barbecue a resounding success. Smashburgers predate cheeseburgers and were traditionally topped with grilled onions. This recipe mixes the best of both worlds.

Cooking spray

1 medium white onion, halved then thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cast iron griddle (see Notes)

1 stick unsalted butter

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 tbsp garlic powder

6 slices of American cheese (see Notes)

6 brioche buns

Special equipment

Parchment paper, cut to a size to cover your burger cooking surface

Meat press, a clean brick or heavy flat ceramic plate (see Notes)

Instructions: Allow ground chuck to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Spray a 1/3 cup measuring cup with cooking spray, fill it with ground beef (don’t pack it too much), then shape the meat into a ball. You should have enough meat to make 12 meatballs. Put them on a plate at room temperature while you prepare the onions.

On the stovetop, heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions and let caramelize slowly, stirring occasionally. (The heat should be quite low, and it’s easier to control on the stove than on the grill.) If the onions start to burn, add a tablespoon or 2 of water. It will take about 45 minutes to caramelize them. When cooked, remove the pan from the heat and place the onions in a small bowl.

While cooking the onions, set up your grill with an indirect setup with all the coals taking up one half of the grill and nothing on the other. For gas grills, light the burners on one side only. Once the coals are lit and the grill is burning high, place the griddle in the middle of the dividing line between the hot and cold areas of the grill, close the lid and allow the pan to heat up for 10-15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Remove the grill lid and generously butter the griddle. It should immediately start sizzling.

Place 6 meatballs at a time on the griddle (or whatever you have room for depending on what you’re using), giving them plenty of room to expand during the grinding process. Cook the meatballs, without stirring or turning, for 1 minute with the lid open.

Then cover the cooking surface and the meatballs with parchment paper. Firmly and quickly press down each meatball with the meat press until you feel you can’t press any more. Remove the press and paper and season each galette with the salt, pepper and garlic mixture. Cook for 3 minutes with the lid open, turn over and season the other side of the meat. Cook for another 3 minutes, then garnish each pancake with a slice of cheese. Cook until cheese is completely melted, about another minute. Transfer the patties from the griddle to a plate or pan and cover.

Butter the griddle again and repeat the cooking process for the remaining 6 meatballs. Transfer them to the dish when you’re done.

Lay the brioche buns cut side down and toast on the griddle for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on the desired degree of roasting of the buns.

Assemble your smashburgers by stacking two cheese patties per bun and topping them with caramelized onions or any other condiment you prefer.

Remarks: You can also use a thick, thick, all-aluminum pan (not your average nonstick baking sheet) or a cast iron skillet.

Nothing says classic Americana more than gooey, evenly melting American cheese, but you can use any sliced ​​cheese.

You can use anything heavy that can crush the patty flat, like a brick, a flat metal lid, or even a can of vegetables.

Makes 6 burgers

Chuck Blount, Express-News Taste Editor

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