It’s time to put on your stretchy waist-banded pants.
I know it seems cruel to share a recipe like this with summer being just around the corner, but these were just too good to hold until the end of summer. Plus, burgers really ARE the epitome of summer. Period. Thank you. The end. And when burgers like these are on the menu, trust me, it’s gonna be a great freaking summer.
I am excited about these burgers for a few reasons. The first being, of course, that they are delicious. Like “OMG” good. Like juices-dripping-down-your-arm good. The second reason is because I ground the meat mixture for these babies myself! Right?! So exciting. The third reason: said meat mixture is made up mostly of SHORT RIBS. Yup. It’s happening, folks. Like I said, it’s time to get out those comfy pants. Join me for one last indulgence?
I have been intrigued by the prospect of grinding my own burger meat for years now. Yes, these really are the sorts of exciting thoughts that run through my mind on a daily (hourly?) basis. Titillating, isn’t it?
Truth is, I was always scared to do so. I’m not a particularly squeamish person, especially when it comes to food, but for some reason, the idea of grinding my own meat really intimidated me. Turns out, it’s really stupidly easy and results in the most heavenly burger texture.
The key is to make sure that you are working with almost-frozen ingredients. You want the meat partially frozen, and I found it helpful to even stick my grinder attachment (I have this one for my stand mixer) and all its parts in the freezer as well. Just to ensure it didn’t get…um..gunked up. See? That’s the part right there that was freaking me out a little bit. Meat bits getting stuck in the grinder and me having to work them out. Eww. Right? BUT! If you put everything in the freezer for 20 minutes or so, that won’t happen! It’s magic.
The resulting mixture has just the right amount of fat, just the right amount of beefy meatiness, and the most pillowy, tender texture! It’s pretty incredible.
To ensure that my burger meat was going to result in spectacular burgers, I knew that the other components had to live up to the hype. Enter: bourbon aioli. Yup. You read that right. BOURBON! And smoky paprika! And honey! In an AIOLI! Gah. AKA, the most delicious burger condiment ever. My mouth is pooling just thinking about it.
The other components? The usual suspects. Lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, and of course, CHEESE. Oh! And some buttery avocado slices for good measure. Plus hot, crispity french fries doused with truffle oil, herbs, and some salty parmesan (which also happen to work fabulously in that aioli. Because, hello? BOURBON). Paired with an ice cold grapefruit shandy (my personal fav), and you’ve got one hell of a meal.
Now, you definitely don’t HAVE to grind your own meat. This burger will still be delicious with store-bought ground beef. But, if you’re like me and have been on the fence about whipping out that grinder attachment, just go for it.
You can thank me later.
1 lb boneless short ribs (See NOTE)
½ lb boneless chuck roast, trimmed of sinew and excess fat
Salt and pepper
6 oz Havarti cheese, sliced
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 garlic clove, minced or grated
1 cup canola oil
Juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon smoked paprika (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Trim the beef of excess fat and sinew and then cube it into 1-inch chunks. Spread the chunks out on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. I also place the parts of my grinder in the freezer at this time as well.
Set up your grinder and place a large bowl underneath. Grind the meat using the grinder, alternating between the two cuts.
Season the ground meat with salt, pepper, and a few drops of Worcestershire sauce.
Gently form the mixture into six patties, depending on the size burger you want, and place them on a tray.
Heat your grill to medium-high. Once the grill is hot, add the formed burgers to the grill and cook for 4 minutes per side. During the last minute of cooking, top each burger with a slice of cheese and close the lid of the grill so the cheese can melt.
Remove from the grill and tent with foil until you are ready to serve.
Place the egg yolks in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to mix. Add in the garlic and pulse again.
With the machine running, VERY SLOWLY stream in the oil, giving time for it to very gradually incorporate. It should thicken up like mayonnaise and be very pale yellow in color.
Add in the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper and adjust the other seasonings as needed. Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Top each burger bun with a cheeseburger and desired garnishes. Drizzle the aioli over top or spread on the burger buns. Enjoy immediately!
If you cannot find boneless short ribs, you can definitely buy the bone-in ribs and trim the meat off the bone.