RECIPES: Recipe Details
Backyard Butter Mac
36 oz. ground beef (85% lean)
2 tsps. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
6 Tbsps. unsalted butter, very soft
For the sauce:
1/4 cup Miracle Whip
11/2 Tbsps. bottled French salad dressing
1/2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
1/2 Tbsp. dill pickle relish
1 tsp. chopped capers in brine
1 tsp. finely minced onion
1/2 tsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. ketchup
1/8 tsp. salt
For the cheese salad:
4 oz. American cheese, finely chopped
11/2 Tbsps. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp. minced fresh tarragon
1/2 tsp. prepared yellow mustard
12 slices 3/4" thick firm white sandwich bread
2 Tbsps. finely minced red onions
1 large whole dill pickle, sliced very thin
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1. Preheat grill set to high (keep grill cover closed).
2. Make the burgers: Gently mix together the beef, salt and pepper. Divide meat into 6 6-ounce portions. Holding 1 portion loosely in your hand, spread 1 Tbsp. soft butter over the meat; gently combine (it's okay to see streaks of butter). Shape into 3/4-inch patty. Repeat with remaining meat; refrigerate patties.
3. Make the sauce: Combine all of the sauce ingredients. Refrigerate.
4. Make the cheese salad: Combine all of the cheese salad ingredients by mashing them together with a fork; set aside.
5. Arrange burgers on preheated grill and immediately reduce heat to med-high. Grill 4 minutes; turn the burgers and grill another 4 minutes. Top each burger with a scoop of cheese salad (I use a small ice cream scoop); close grill cover for 1 minute to melt cheese. Transfer burgers to a platter. While burgers are grilling, toast the bread slices on the grill until light golden, turning often; reserve. Turn off grill.
6. To assemble your Backyard Butter Mac: Spread 1 heaping Tbsp of reserved sauce on a slice of bread; place a burger on top of sauce. Gently flatten cheese on burger with a small spatula; top with 1 tsp. minced red onions, 3 pickle slices and 11/2 Tbsps. lettuce. Spread another bread slice with a heaping Tbsp. of sauce; place bread sauce-side down on the lettuce. Cut sandwich in half; serve immediately. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
I devised a recipe for a grilled version of my husband's favorite fast food hamburger. The sauce is appropriately special and doesn't stray far from the beloved original. I replaced the standard slice of American cheese with a tarragon-tinged cheese "salad" and the lettuce, pickles, and onions are front and center. Instead of the fast food-type bun, I used toasted, thick-sliced white sandwich bread, much like the hamburgers I love at nearby Louis' Lunch in New Haven (the birthplace of the American hamburger). Best of it all, however, is the beef. My recipe uses one 6-ounce, butter-enriched patty that is grilled and juicy. The beef flavor out performs its co-ingredients and makes this sandwich worthy of fame.