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Beef Napoleon Waterloo Burgers

In spite of it's original name, "Beef Napoleon," it was the English who invented a recipe by this name in celebration of the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. And in typical English fashion, the ingredients get handled in a lengthy, tedious process including marinating a slab of beef for hours, if not days! But as an American amateur cook, I am impatient and like to use simple, fast recipes which taste great and serve well. In developing this original recipe using some of the traditional English ingredients, I found lean ground beef to be a perfect substitute for slab beef in reducing the time it takes for the meat to absorb the flavors - it reduces marinating time from hours or days to minutes. And using a small blender speeds the work of making the marinade for the beef and the topping for the patties during the grilling. But the best is yet to come - my recipe's combination of ingredients and grilling techniques results in the best tasting burger I have ever tasted, barring none, and I have tasted hundreds, if not thousands of burgers. From the sweet roasted garlic to the bold Sutter Home Zinfandel wine, the layers of taste in this recipe is unique and outstanding. And what is truly awesome is that the burger is wonderful just by itself, even without the usual accompaniment of lettuce, tomato, onion and condiments - leave them all off your burger and you won't miss them at all. In as little as half an hour from the time you heat the grill to the time you serve this burger, I must say, this recipe is way over the top and way past any "BAM!"


2 lb lean ground beef
2 large 3 inch heads of garlic, not Elephant garlic
1/2 cup Colavita® olive oil
8 oz robust Sutter Home® Zinfandel Wine
8 ea medium sized spring onions, chopped
3 tsp Country Dijon Mustard 
1 tbsp fresh thyme, strip leaves only and discard stems
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
24 stems and tops fresh parsley, roughly chopped
6 ea enriched Hamburger buns
12 tbsp  Mayonnaise


1. Preheat the grill with the grill closed. The desired grilling temperature is 400 F. 2. Form the lean ground beef into 6 patties, 4 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Put them in a 10x17 inch glass or ceramic casserole dish. Do not stack on top of each other but spread them out in one layer. 3. Meanwhile, put into a blender container: - 2 of the garlic cloves taken carefully off one of the heads of garlic (keep the rest of the garlic heads whole), mashed by pressing down on each of the cloves with the side of a large knife until the clove mashes down - peel off the skin from each (discarding the skin), - 3 tbsp of the Colavita olive oil, - the 8 oz of the Sutter Home Zinfandel wine, - the 8 roughly chopped spring onions, - 1 tsp of the mustard, - the tablespoon of thyme leaves stripped from the stems (discard the stems), - 1 tsp of the salt and 1/4 tsp of the ground pepper. 4. Pulse blender until a thick marinade is formed - about 30 seconds - stopping every 5 seconds and moving any ingredients clinging to the sides of the blender container with a rubber spatula into the blade area for mixing, as needed. Save 3 tablespoons of the marinade in a small cup. Brush the remaining marinade over the patties in the 10x17 inch dish. Turn the patties and brush with the rest of the marinade so both sides of the patties are well-coated. 5. Take an 8 inch square of aluminum foil and wrap the remaining garlic heads in it for roasting, twisting the top to seal slightly. Put the wrapped garlic on the grill to roast for 5 minutes - close top and wait. 6. Return the 3 tablespoons of marinade (that which was set aside earlier in a small cup) to the blender for additional ingredients after the remaining garlic is finished grilling. Add three more tablespoons of the Colavita olive oil to the blender ingredients and add the remaining (2 tsp)mustard and the roughly chopped parsley to the blender. Then take the garlic in the foil from the grill when it is ready (the cloves should be soft and slightly tan - if not, return to the grill until soft and tan). Unwrap the foil - and carefully peel the cloves (discard the skin) - they are hot - and add them to the blender. Finally, season with the rest of the salt (1 tsp) and pepper (1/4 tsp). Blend these ingredients to a thick paste stopping every 5 seconds and moving any ingredients clinging to the sides of the blender container into the blade area for mixing.. There may be green flecks in the paste when you are finished with the blending and that is fine. 7. Oil the grill with the olive oil and take the patties from the glass dish and put on the hot grill. Using a pastry or other brush, paint the paste from the blender on the tops of the patties while they are cooking and then close the grill. Open and flip patties after 5 minutes and paint the rest of the paste on the tops of the patties while cooking and then close the grill again. Flip the patties for the last time after 5 minutes and grill for 3 minutes more with grill closed - until done. Remove the patties from the grill to a plate to let the patties rest and to assemble the burgers. 8. Toast the buns on the grill for 1 minute per side - careful not to burn them. 9. To assemble each burger: - spread the bottom bun with a tablespoon of the mayonnaise, - put a grilled patty on it, - spread the top bun with a tablespoon of the mayonnaise and put it on top of the patty to complete the burger, - serve and enjoy your delicious burgers.


This recipe is a keeper, regardless of the outcome of this contest. Try it, you'll love it! As a finalist, I agree to compete in the final Cook-Off on Saturday, September 30, 2006. Note: I am a member of Chef2Chef - not as a professional Chef but as a Volunteer (amateur) cook at the Annapolis Light House Homeless Shelter. I am not now nor have ever been nor served as a professional in any food service capacity.