Being complete carnivores, my husband and my eighteen years old son are absolute burger hounds. When my son comes back from college (he is a very small liberal arts college which has an isolated campus, so his only food choice is the college cafeteria or a measly Quizno’s on campus), the first place he hits is Five Guys! And then there is a whole list of other places they like to frequent in the entire Washington DC metro area – The Burger Joint, Ray’s Hell Burger, Krazy burger and above all Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace! They visit every kind of burger joint they can find (sometimes I get dragged along with them) and then they compare one against the other. In my book they are the most knowledgeable burger aficionados that I know of. So yesterday when I finished making these Feta Burgers, I was surprised when my son declared that it was “the best burger I have ever eaten”. His endorsement was then strongly seconded by my husband! Of course, I couldn’t bite into mine because I was still busy taking pictures for the blog. After their resounding approval I was very curious about how good they really were but I had to wait to get these pictures done and my patience was running out. To make matters worse, the camera battery died on me after just four pictures of the finished product. Normally, I take 40-50 pictures and then choose the best one out of those to post on the blog. Clearly four was an inadequate number but I just couldn’t wait to recharge the battery while these two men were chomping on their burgers right next to me and oohing and aahing as they ate. I gave up and bit into my burger – and was shocked by how good it tasted! If I may say so myself, it was the best burger ever! I had just made the recipe up as I had gone along but somehow I had struck upon the right combination of ingredients. So if you like burgers, I urge you to try this recipe!
For the Burger Patties –
1. 1-1.25 ground beef (I used 1.1 lbs of organic grass-fed 95-5 from Whole Foods)
2. One small white onion (to add to burger patties)
3. 2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
4. 1 teaspoon salt
5. One sprig of fresh rosemary (chop it finely)
6. ½ cup feta (we will need to crumble it so get one that is not too watery or soft)
7. ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (preferable freshly ground)
For the Greek-style Mayo
1. 1.5 tablespoons of jarred Mayonnaise
2. 1.5 tablespoons of Labneh or Greek Yogurt
3. 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill leaves
4. 2-3 cloves of garlic
5. 2 teaspoons of sugar
6. 2 teaspoons of lemon or lime juice (I used a bottled variety)
7. ½ teaspoon of salt
8. 2 tablespoons of crumbled feta
For the rest of the burger:
1. 4 brioche buns
2. A bunch of fresh baby arugula
3. One ripe tomato sliced
4. One large Vidalia Onion
5. One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
6. ½ tablespoon of butter
1. Peel and finely chop (dice it) the small white onion.
2. In a large bowl mix the following ingredients: ground beef, ½ cup crumbled feta, finely diced onion, ketchup, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper.
3. Using your hands mix everything in but do so gently so that the meat doesn’t get too hard when cooked on the grill.
4. Then make four even sized patties out of the meat and place them in the refrigerator for some time. While the patties are cooling you can get the rest of the ingredients ready
5. Peel and slice the large sweet Vidalia onion.
6. In a small skillet (I used an iron skillet) pour the extra virgin olive oil and butter and start heating it on low to medium heat.
7. Add the sliced onions to the skillet and let them slowly get caramelized in the butter and olive oil mixture. Please stir these onions thoroughly, every 2-3 minutes. This process of cooking onions should take 15-20 minutes because they have to be cooked slowly to bring out the natural sweetness of the onions. While the onions are cooking, start preparing the sauce.
8. Peel the garlic cloves and using a microplane, grate the garlic cloves into a small bowl.
9. To the garlic add the following ingredients: Finely chopped dill leaves, salt, sugar, lemon/lime juice, the remaining amount of crumbled feta, mayonnaise, labneh/Greek Yogurt.
10. Stir everything in the bowl together to make the Greek Style Mayonnaise. This is NOT any standard Greek recipe – I just made this recipe up and it tastes great! So any Greek out there, that may take offense, I apologize in advance – I just called it Greek Mayo because it used some of the common ingredients used in Greek cuisine
11. Light up your grill and when the charcoal is ready, cook the burgers on both sides. I grilled them for about 7-8 minutes on each side but if you prefer them well done, please cook for a bit longer. The timing for the grilling process may vary depending on how hot your coals are etc… so adjust it according to your preference and cooking conditions.
12. Slice the brioche buns and toast them slightly on the grill.
13. Assemble the burgers by putting the following ingredients on the bun: One cooked beef patty, some caramelized onions, a slice of tomato, some fresh baby arugula and some Greek-style Mayo. Serve while the burgers are still hot with a side of French fries or chips and some extra Greek style Mayo on the side.