To some, the perfect burger is a lifelong search, a religion. I’m pretty shameless when it comes to my love for burgers and not ashamed whatsoever! Having grown up in Southern California I ate at In-N-Out Burger on Friday’s during high school, and college consisted of The Buffalo Inn. My career in Santa Monica allowed me to enjoy such gourmet burger joints as Father’s Office and Counter Burger. Now having Celiac Disease, I’m limited to burgers made at home most of the time. So when presented with the opportunity to work with Tillamook Cheese for National Burger Month, of course I said yes!
A burger without good cheese is well simply put just a sad burger. Top my burger off with Tillamook cheddar – yes please! What I’ve always loved about Tillamook Cheese is that they are a collective of farmers who came together to form the Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA), “to make sure the quality and reputation of cheese made in the Tillamook Valley.” Tillamook produces a cheese that is 100% natural. And holy cow who doesn’t love the Baby Loaf Yum Buses?
Tillamook was kind enough to send me a package of their medium cheddar slices, but I also picked up a package of Tillamook smoked cheddar and sharp cheddar from Whole Foods. On the menu, buffalo burgers and burgers made with a combination of ground beef and pork from Richardson Farms, which I picked up from Monument Market in Georgetown, just up the road from Austin. Clearly I’m serious about my burgers ingredients!
I got started by separating out the meats into two bowls, keeping it simple by adding garlic, salt and pepper. I fired up the grill, got my burgers ready and then headed outside to cook up four burgers to enjoy with my family. Accoutrements included onions, tomatoes, garlic mayo, mixed greens lightly dress with a fig balsamic vinegar and finished off with a cherry amaretto sauce from my good friend Maggie, who blogs over at Notes from Maggie’s Farm. Gluten-Free buns from Udi’s as I didn’t have time to make my own (*Tip: heat up in the toaster or throw on the grill for a few seconds). Sides included coleslaw, beer & cheddar potato chips from Kettle Chips, and potato salad.
Tillamook is sharing their loaf love with you and offering up a $1 off coupon on natural slices good this week so you can whip up your own burger. Get in the kitchen, fire up your grill and enjoy the rest of National Burger Month! Thank you Tillamook Cheese for the lovely care package! I’ve already used the apron and clearly had fun with the mustache.
Eating out during National Burger Month? If you are in the Santa Monica area certainly check out Father’s Office and Counter Burger. Here in Austin, I hit up Hopdoddy Burger Bar – They’ve got an amazing menu of custom burgers and have the best gluten-free bun in town!
Here’s the recipe (yields 6-8 burgers depending upon size):
- 1/2 lb ground beef (If you decide to go with buffalo meat use 1 lb)
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1 tbls minced garlic
Fire up the grill! Preheat your grill to 300 degrees, closing the lid on the bbq grill.
Place ground beef and pork in medium size glass bowl. Add in minced garlic, salt, and pepper. With your hands, mix ingredients until garlic is fully incorporated. Taking a cookie sheet, cover with a piece of tin foil or parchment paper and set aside.
Next step is to form burgers. I like my burgers on the meaty side so I make them on the thicker side. This is a personal preference, so when forming your burgers, make’em the way you like. I typically form my burgers to be about 1 1/2 thick and about 4 1/2 inches wide. Grab some meat from the bowl, rolling into a ball. Place on the cookie sheet and press flat until you have the desired shape and thickness.
Now that your burgers are grill ready, head outside and put the burgers on the grill. Shut the grill lid and let the burgers caramelize (takes about 2-3 minutes depending upon which meat used – pork takes a bit longer). Once you’ve got a good caramelization on one side, flip the burger over, allowing the burger to cook for another 3-4 minutes. I like my burgers a bit on the medium-rare side, so at the 5 minute mark, I check the burger to ensure it’s cooked just right (take a steak knife, cutting into the center of the burger to check the color). Next add on cheese, closing the lid to get a good melt.
Take the burgers off the grill, placing onto your cooking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Allow burgers to sit for a moment so the burger retains the juices. Now your burgers ready to assemble – Here’s how I stack my burger:
- Bun bottom
- Garlic mayo
- Burger with cheese
- Sliced onions
- Amaretto Sauce
- Mixed greens (dress lightly in olive oil and a pinch of salt, mixing by hand to coat greens completely)
- Bun top
I find stacking my burger in this order optimizes the flavors. Get crazy with your toppings. Fry up some onions coated in gluten-free/GMO free cornstarch, as this will add some savory crunch to the burger. Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, the perfect time to grill up some burgers and top them off with Tillamook Cheese.