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Beanie Burgers

Hi. I'm Christine: mother, business owner, wife,and talented cook. Just a short while ago my husband, Marco, phoned home to say he was craving Chinese food and would pick up the ingredients on his way home. I turned to the kids and informed them Chinese was for dinner. They were disappointed, to say the least. "We want hamburgers!". When Marco got home I combined the ingredients he had picked up with the hamburger I had pulled out in the meantime. Low and behold: "Beanie" Burgers! A recipe created from a bit of pinache and a lot of luck. Since that time Beanie Burgers are a hit with friends and family alike. I find it interesting that they are such a hit with my father, Chuck, former diner owner. He has always felt he makes the best hamburgers. Now he isn't so sure. (smile)


2 pounds cold chuck steak, ground once
12 TBS red onion, diced
6 tsp fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
6 TBS fresh cilantro chopped
2 TBS coriander seeds, crushed & chopped
1 ½ tsp salt
¾ tsp ground pepper
6 TBS soy sauce
4 TBS brown sugar, packed
1C Sutter Home Zinfandel
2 TBS Colivata Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large red onion, sliced
48 fresh string beans, ends snipped
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
2 small cucumbers, sliced & scored
2 TBS white sesame seeds
12 slices Potato Bread, crusts removed


To make the patties, combine the cold ground chuck, red onion, garlic,ginger, cilantro,coriander, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Handle as little as possible, yet mix well. Divide and shape meat mixture into 6 rectangular, not round, equal portions. Place portions back into refrigerator and let rest. Flavors will combine well with each other during this time. To make the “Beanie” sauce, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, and Sutter Home Zinfandel in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork. Set aside bowl. Preheat a gas grill to high, or prepare a hot charcoal grill. A cast iron skillet, or fire-proof skillet, is needed for the “beanies”. When the grill is ready, place the skillet on the grill rack. When skillet is hot enough to make olive oil sizzle add the Colivata Olive Oil to the skillet followed by the red onions. Begin softening the onions slowly, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until onions are slightly tender. Deglaze the skillet with the “Beanie” sauce. Simmer 1 minute. Add the green beans. Stir frequently. Cook beans until liquid has thickened and mostly evaporated yet green beans stay aldente firm & crisp), 8 – 10 minutes. After starting the onions, brush the remainder of the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the oiled side of the grill rack and cook; turning only once: 7 to 9 minutes on each side for medium. To score the cucumbers, remove the ends and outside skin of the cucumber with a knife. Take a table fork and run prongs vertically the entire length of the cucumber, pressing firmly, scoring lines. Repeat until all sides of the cucumber have been scored, then slice ¼” thick. Set aside. During the final minutes of grilling the patties, sprinkle the “beanies” with the white sesame seeds, mix, and remove the skillet of “beanies” from the grill. Quickly toast one side of each of the potato bread slices creating grill marks on the white bread. (No oil is necessary) Remove when toasted and grill marks are strongly present. Lay them un-toasted side up to build the burgers. To assemble, place a patty on six of the pieces of bread. Add a portion of the “beanies” (approximately 8 a piece with some onion). “Beanies” will be askew and poke out from the edges of the toasted potato bread. Add 5 or 6 slices of scored cucumber. Add the bread tops and cut on an angle with a serrated knife. Serve immediately. Makes 6 burgers.


I feel extremely lucky coming from a family where I was always welcome in the kitchen. Growing up watching my gradmother, Ginette, and my mother, Margo, be spontaneous, creative and in control of their kitchens helped me become the cook I am. Thank goodness my mother told me about the Build a Better Burger opportunity or I would not have been able to take a casual experience and turn it into a recipe I am extremely proud of! Enjoy them. I know you will.