Recipe: World’s Best Smoky Burger
Summary: Smoky, cheesy flavors give this burger a touch of machismo, along with a just-spicy-enough sauce. The usual go-alongs of ripe tomato and crisp lettuce top it off, for the World’s Best Smoky Burger.
- 1 pound ground beef (10% fat preferred)
- 1/2 cup cooked wild rice (I used wild sweet rice from the Asian market)
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded smoked cheese, such as Cheddar, gouda or mozzarella (I used smoked chipotle cheddar one time, and a non-smoky Kerrygold Dubliner the next time)
- 1 tablespoons smoky barbecue sauce (I like Bulls-Eye brand, but use your favorite)
- 1 tablespoon Sweet Hungarian paprika
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (if you have it)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves minced garlic (or about 1 teaspoon)
- ¼-½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon smoky barbecue sauce
- 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
- 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- 4 hamburger buns, toasted
- 4 thick slices ripe tomato
- 4 thin slices Vidalia or red onion
- Place meat, rice, cheese, 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce, both paprikas, mustard, garlic, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Stir gently, until well mixed. Using your hands, form into 4 equal patties, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
- Make the sauce: Combine mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce, relish and horseradish in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Place the burgers in the hot skilled and pan-fry until done, a couple of minutes per side. (Alternatively, you may grill or broil the burgers, whichever way you prefer to cook them.)
- Assemble the cooked burgers on toasted buns with the barbecue mayonnaise sauce, tomato and onion.
- Serves 4.
Be sure to cook the wild rice the day before. It takes 40-50 minutes to cook, and will behave better in the recipe if you cook it, cool it and refrigerate it. Day-old rice works best! Or you may be able to find “quick” wild rice — a whole-grain rice that cooks in less than 30 minutes — or “instant” wild rice that takes 10 minutes.
Make ahead: You may assemble and shape the burgers a day ahead and refrigerate them. You may also make the mayo mixture 1-5 days ahead and refrigerate it.
Adapted from Smoky Buffalo Burgers
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 4