Barbecue Spice Burgers – start with a simple mix of salt and spices to perfectly season the ground chuck beef. The grilled beef patty then gets served on a toasted bun with a bacon blanket, tempura onions, lettuce, tomato and a roasted garlic sriracha mayo.
Salt is one of those things that we take for granted in everyday cooking and baking but where would we be without it? I learned the importance of salt long ago when I worked a summer job in a bakery and forgot the salt in a 100 pound batch of bread dough. Yikes! The bread was practically inedible and I never forgot it. It was actually the first story that came to mind when Windsor Salt asked me to develop a new recipe including salt because, really, is there a recipe that doesn’t?
You may have already noticed the newly refreshed and updated Windsor salt packaging and logo on your supermarket shelves. The familiar Windsor blue castle logo still remains though in what has been one of the most recognizable brands to Canadians since 1893! Theres no doubt that Windsor is we’ll seasoned in more ways than one. For more information about Windor Salt products and lots of great recipes be sure to visit The Windsor Salt website.
The two salts that I use most are fine sea salt for baking, and coarse grained kosher salt for cooking. The finer grains of the sea salt dissolve or disperse more evenly in baked goods and accentuate natural flavour. There’s a reason why the French use sea salt for French bread, the difference in flavour it makes to the bread is remarkable.
I use kosher salt in practically all other cooking, mostly because it is much easier to gauge how much I am using. A small, covered, green crockery salt dish sits beside my stove on a permanent basis. I like the tactile nature of the coarse grains because, over time, you come to get an actual “feel” for how much salt you are adding.
The other advantage of the coarse grains in kosher salt, is that they are so much easier to actually see when seasoning meat. Take a shaker of fine salt and start sprinkling it onto meat and the fine grains practically disappear on the surface of a steak or roast for example. It’s very easy to under season, or worse over season meats this way. Take a pinch of kosher salt and start to sprinkle it on, like in the photo of the burger patty below, and you can see exactly how much you have used. In my years of cooking I’ve found it much easier to perfectly season any meat when using kosher salt.
I also prefer to use kosher salt in seasoning mixes like in today’s barbecue spice recipe because if the salt is not evenly distributed in the mix, you will see it immediately. Always give these seasoning mixes a good stir or shake in their storage container before use to make sure none of the individual ingredients have settled. It is the combination of flavours that is important in this barbecue spice mix like in all seasoning mixes; make sure you are getting the right balance of all of them.
One of my best tips for perfect grilled burgers, other than a perfect seasoning, comes down to the beef being used in them. In the last few years I’ve begun to grind my own beef for burgers from a blade (chuck) roast. The flavour difference that this cut of beef makes is incredible; it has about the right balance of fat to meat, about 20/80 makes for a much beefier tasting burger without being dry. I also prefer to coarse grind the beef which makes for a meatier, less spongy texture. I use a meat grinder attachment on my mixer and it really does take just a few minutes to grind a few pounds of beef. If you don’t have a grinder, you could always ask your butcher to specially grind it for you. You’ll be glad you did.
Another tip I love to use when adding bacon to burgers is to weave a simple bacon blanket before frying it. Three strips of bacon are used; each one cut in half. The blanket ensures that the bacon doesn’t keep falling out of the burger and that you get some of its smoky deliciousness in every bite. The blankets can also be cooked on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet in the oven, flipping them half way through he cooking time. This method is great if you are serving a crowd.
Finally I added some tempura onions for great crunch and a garlicy sriracha mayo as the only condiment needed to top this on this flavour explosion of a burger.
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- 5-6 ounces coarse ground beef per burger
- 1 tbsp Windsor kosher salt
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp granulated garlic or powdered
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp coarse ground black pepper
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 in medium onion cut half and sliced thin
- 1 cup sifted flour
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup ice cold water
- 1 egg
- Canola oil for frying
- 1/2 head roasted garlic
- 1/2 cup plain mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- pinch Winsor kosher salt
- pinch black pepper
- 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce or to taste
- 3 slices of bacon for each burger
- sliced tomato
- sliced Cheddar or Havarti cheese
- Kaiser rolls or burger buns of your choice.
Coarsely grind the beef and form into patties.
Simply add all the ingredients to a jar and shake well.
Store any unused seasoning in an airtight container.
Sift together the flour and baking soda.
Whisk in the egg and cold water.
Heat about an inch of canola oil in a heavy bottomed pot unit it reaches 350 degrees F on a cooking thermometer.
Toss the opinion pieces into additional flour and then into the batter before adding to the hot oil.
Fry for only a minute or two until golden brown.
Hold the cooked onion pieces on a wire rack in a warm oven until ready to use.
Mash the garlic into a paste with a fork and stir it through the mayonnaise along with the apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and Sriracha sauce.
Grill the burgers over medium high flame for about 4 minutes a side.
Add the cheese to the burgers after they have been flipped.
Toast the burger buns and add a bacon blanket to the bottom half of the bum before adding the cooked beef patty.
Add the tempura onions, tomato, Garlic Sriracha Mayo and lettuce and then the top bun.
To roast garlic, simply cut a little off the top of the head of garlic and place it on a square of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and a small drizzle of olive oil. Bring the corners of the aluminium foil to a point at the centre and twist to seal the garlic inside. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes depending upon the size of the head of garlic. The garlic cloves should be soft and sticky and are easily removed from the skins.
FOR THE BACON BLANKETS
Three strips of bacon are used; each one cut in half. The blanket ensures that the bacon doesn't keep falling out of the burger and that you get some of its smoky deliciousness in every bite. The blankets can also be cooked on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F until crisp cooked, flipping them half way through he cooking time. This method is great if you are serving a crowd.
Rock Recipes is very pleased to have this recipe sponsored by Windsor Salt, who provided both product and compensation for this post. Opinions expressed though, are completely my own.