French Onion Soup Burger

There are favorite foods, and then there are obsessions. I myself have a mild (severe depending on who you ask) obsession with peanut butter. My dad loves anything with a crunch.  My mother adores brownies, and my brother can never pass up taco bell. My boyfriend Jake on the other hand has a passionate love affair with burgers (he actually says this is an understatement). If he could eat one every single day, he absolutely, without a doubt would. 

French Onion Soup Burger | shutupeatthis.com

It doesn't matter if it is a classic cheeseburger with ketchup and mustard, or a southwestern style with rich avocado and a pepper studded Monterrey jack. Even a creative turkey patty would satisfy his craving. I never quite understood the allure of a hamburger. I grew up on Mexican food, and burgers were rare. His love for burgers is so deep, I had to learn what it was so special about this American classic. I can honestly tell you, he asks for burgers AT LEAST three times a week, I mean, probably every day, but I will be kind and say three times a week. Much like steak, burgers were something Jake brought into my world. And no, it isn't a coincidence they are both red meat dishes. We are from the Midwest you know.  

And while it isn't something we have often, I do try and bring him burger joy from time to time. And this burger is the creme de le creme of burgers. The type of burger that is sinful, and you know it, but don't really care. Slow, caramelized sweet onions, a splash of acidic balsamic vinegar.  Melted, creamy Gruyere mingling with sharp, crisp arugula. An incredible horseradish mayo soaking into a brioche bun. The type of burger that seems like it deserves its own playlist chock full of Barry White and Al Green. 

I make this burger every so often because it is MY favorite burger, selfish, I know, but Jake doesn't care what kind of burger I make, as long as it is a burger. With the exception of a black bean burger, which Jake says is an abomination. I should convince him to do a podcast all about burgers, but is there a big enough audience? 

What I love about this burger is that it feels gourmet, but really, it is just very dressed up. What I love to do with this patty is to sear it on a cast iron skillet. There is no better burger than one made on a cast iron skillet/flat top and treated like a steak. And you can fight me on that. The brown crispy crust on the burger, basted in its own juices create this extremely juicy patty that is a treat to create at home. Cooking a burger in a cast iron skillet is also forgiving, if you overcook it slightly, it will retain its juiciness. 

French Onion Soup Burger | shutupeatthis.com

Now that you are fully salivating, let's start the burgers. Form four quarter pound burger patties (or two ½ pound patties). You want the ground beef to come close to room temperature, so form the patties (loosely, do not roll them tight, you want them to just be formed), push the middle down slightly to form a little dimple. After forming them, season each side well with sea salt and cracked black pepper. While these are sitting, start the onions (these will take about 20-25 minutes).

Slice one large onion, 2 cups to be exact. Heat a pan on medium low, splash a little olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter and melt to combine. Toss the sliced onions in the pan, season with a little salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook on medium low for about 20-25 minutes until they are browned and creamy. 3-4 minutes before you take the onions off, stir in 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, stir to combine and make sure they are nice and golden brown.

Set onions aside and let cool slightly. Make the horseradish mayo! Mix the mayo, horseradish and season with a little salt and cracked black pepper. Set aside the sauce in the refrigerator. Make the burgers!

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium. Splash a little olive oil and butter in the pan and let it melt. Lay the burger patties in the pan (start two patties at a time, this creates a better crust), let them cook about 3 minutes per side (depending on the size), flip, and baste in the pan juices every so often (spoon up the juices and coat the patties). Since these burgers are thin, they will not take long to cook. My suggestion if you are cooking ½ pound burgers, toss them in a 400 degree oven to finish them off. Right before they are ready to be taken off the pan, put cheese on the top, cover with the lid and let the cheese melt.

Build your burger! Horseradish mayo on the top or bottom bun, a handful of arugula, and the cheesy patty.

Best side combinations:

  • French fries w/ketchup or more horseradish mayo/mayo & ketchup combo

  • Sharp vinegar rocket green salad

  • Roasted herb potatoes with Greek yogurt dip

  • Roasted carrots

  • Salt & Vinegar chips

  • Salad with raspberry vinaigrette

This burger is rich, so make sure to pair the burger with something sharp and light. And make sure to not make this too often, because it is ADDICTING. 

French Onion Soup Burger | shutupeatthis.com

French Onion Soup Burger

Author: Allie Brendel

Lucious, rich in umami, this burger will be a favorite among any meat lover. Dignified and fancy as it may seems, this burger is simple, satisfying and filling.

Makes: 4 servings

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Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground beef (85-93% lean beef)
  • 4 brioche hamburger buns
  • 1 cup of shredded gruyere
  • 2 cups sweet onion sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Splash olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 mayonnaise (I like Sir Kensington's)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions:
  1. Form four quarter pound burger patties (or two ½ pound patties). You want the ground beef to come close to room temperature, so form the patties (loosely, do not roll them tight, you want them to just be formed), push the middle down slightly to form a little dimple. Form them, season each side well with sea salt and cracked black pepper. While these are sitting, start the onions (these will take about 20-25 minutes).
  2. Heat a pan on medium low, splash a little olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter and melt to combine. Toss the sliced onions in the pan, season with a little salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook on medium low for about 20-25 minutes until they are browned and creamy. 3-4 minutes before you take the onions off, stir in 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
  3. Set onions aside and let cool slightly. Make the horseradish mayo! Mix the mayo, horseradish and season with a little salt and cracked black pepper. Set aside the sauce in the fridge. Make the burgers!
  4. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium. Splash a little olive oil and butter in the pan and let it melt. Lay the burger patties in the pan (start two patties at a time, this creates a better crust), let them cook about 3 minutes per side, flip, and baste in the pan juices every so often. Since these burgers are thin, they will not take long to cook. My suggestion if you are cooking ½ pound burgers, toss them in a 400 degree oven to finish them off. Right before they are ready to be taken off the pan, put cheese on the top, cover with the lid and let the cheese melt.
  5. Build your burger! Horseradish mayo on the top bun, a handful of arugula, and the cheesy patty. Pair with a nice sharp vinegar salad, French fries, or roasted veggies. This is a rich burger, so make sure to have something fresh on the side.