Occasionally I'll post a photo from dinner on Facebook and I get a lot of requests for recipes. When and if the food appears here on the blog, I try to list some of the ingredients (usually for pairing purposes), but I almost never have specifics. It's mainly because I don't cook directly from recipes and I rarely measure anything. But through some trial and error, I've figured out a really tasty mini-burger. Let's call it the Benito Slider.
Start with a series of small ground beef patties. Round? Square? Octagonal? Your choice. Mini-burgers tend to range from 55-85g/2-3 oz. These were on the heavy side, massing around 80g per patty. (For a full size burger, I've always liked something around 160g/5.6 oz. It's also easy because you just take a kilo or two pounds of meat and divide it into six piles.) It's simple to do this the night before you plan to do the cooking--just roll out all the meat into a sheet pan and slice into squares. Separate the stacks with wax paper or parchment. When you're ready to do the cooking, I think the flat griddle is the best tool to use.
1. Start with a whole red onion, sliced thinly. With some butter and salt, slowly cook down the onions on the griddle. Feel free to season with wine or vinegar towards the end.
2. Set the onions aside but don't wipe down the griddle. Cook the patties, and here I've dashed them with Montreal Steak Seasoning.
3. I use Sara Lee Classic Dinner Rolls, which are a good size and are also pretty light and airy. You don't want something thick and dense here. Steam or toast the buns as desired. (It's easy enough to sop up some grease and toast them on the griddle while it's hot.) On the bottom bun, place a little Dijon mustard and Jamaican Pickapeppa sauce. (Tastes kind of like A-1 Sauce, but has a lot of tart, tangy, and spicy elements to it.) Add a couple of dill pickles.
4. Use a lid to cover the burgers until the cheese is melted, and then assemble! The fun part of these is the freedom to go crazy with toppings, since you can just say, "Well, let's try one with 1000 Island dressing and lettuce, then one with crumbled Roquefort and pickled beets."
Certainly you could pair a wine here--I'm sure a fruity Zinfandel would stand up pretty well. But I haven't had a Red Stripe in some time, and this seemed like a good occasion for beer. It's a pretty basic lager, known by the "stubbie" brown bottle, a design style leftover from the days when old medicine bottles were refilled with beer. It's cold, bubbly, and crisp, and although I was out of limes, I've almost always had it with an eighth of a lime squeezed in the glass. 4.7% alcohol in a 11.2 oz. bottle. Why the smaller size? It's a third of a litre, a pretty standard portion size around the world. For years individual states had laws against that size, so producers either had to run a separate bottling or avoid those markets entirely.