RECIPES: Recipe Details

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The Flower City Burger

In Rochester, New York, known as "The Flower City" for our abundance of Lilacs, there are two elements necessary to be classified as a truly good burger. The first is a hot sauce topping, but not your traditional hot sauce. Our hot sauce is a scrambled beef hot sauce topping. There are two primary nationalities that make great meat hot sauce, Italians and Greeks. The second necessary element is what we call the "hard roll" which is a crusty harder roll than the traditional hamburger roll. This may be due to the high percentage of Italians in this area, but it also may be due to its ability to better hold up to the hot sauce mixture. The meat hot sauce is so flavorful that it’s completed only by a squeeze of ketchup, mustard, fresh romaine, tomato, onion and tangy dill pickle chips. I choose to marinate and grill my red onions. Simply delectable!


Hot Sauce Recipe:

1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 lb Ground Beef (90%)
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 ¼ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
¼ teaspoon Cumin
¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 ½ teaspoon Chili Powder
1 ½ teaspoon Paprika
¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
¼ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 Bay Leaf

Hamburger Mixture:

1.5 lbs. Ground Beef (90%)
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons Cabernet Sauvignon
¼ cup unseasoned Bread Crumbs
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Black Pepper
6 Hard Rolls for serving.
1 large Beef Steak Tomato cut into 6 slices for serving
12 Dill Pickle Chips for serving
6 leafs of Romaine Lettuce for serving
¼ cup Ketchup
¼ cup Mustard

Dry Rub:

1 ½ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ teaspoon Chili Powder
½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
½ teaspoon Cumin


1/3 Cup Cabernet Sauvignon
¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons of fresh Lemon Juice
Whisk all ingredients.

Marinated Grilled Red Onion:

1 large Red Onion (Cut into 6 rounds approximately ¼ inch thick each)
½ Cup Olive Oil
¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder


Cooking Directions for Hot Sauce Recipe:

In a fry pan heat half of the vegetable oil on grill top over a medium high heat. Add ground beef. Use wooden spatula to break up beef as it cooks until it is in small pieces. When beef turns from red to light brown, add all ingredients (except balance of oil). Stir well to thoroughly incorporate all ingredients evenly through the meat. Reduce heat level to medium low and let cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add remaining oil. Reduce heat to low and cover skillet. Let cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Keep covered after removing from grill to keep hot sauce warm for serving. Remove Bay Leaf prior to serving.

Directions for Hamburgers:

Remove Ground Beef from refrigerator and let stand in large mixing bowl for 15 minutes. Add all ingredients and, using your hands, lightly mix the meat until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Divide into 6 equal amounts (approximately ¼ pound each) and form patties. Place patties on a board and sprinkle each liberally with the dry rub. (Recipe above: In a small bowl mix all spices to thoroughly blend together. You will need to keep mixing them with your fingers as you liberally season the patties to ensure that it is well blended for application.). Let patties stand for 15 minutes. Grill over medium heat for 20 minutes (Charcoal Grill) Flip burgers every 5 minutes and mop each side with the mop mixture each time the burgers are flipped. (recipe above).
Add the marinated red onions (see recipe above: Whisk all ingredients together in bowl large enough to hold onions and marinade. Place onions in marinade and coat well. Let onions stand 30 minutes prior to grilling.) to the grill during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

To serve, slice hard rolls open. Stack sandwich by placing Romaine Lettuce, then add the Hamburger with a teaspoon of Ketchup and a teaspoon of mustard spread on it. Next, spoon 1/6 of the hot sauce mixture onto the burger. Next, place the Tomato and then the Onion. Top with 2 Dill Pickle chips on each burger and place the top of the bun onto the sandwich. Give it a little squeeze to hold it together and use tooth pick to hold the sandwich together for serving.


It is important to prevent over cooking of the hot sauce. It should not dry out. There should be a slightly oily base to the sauce which absorbs the red coloring of the Paprika.

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