In full disclosure, I've been experimenting with Tim Ferris's Slow Carb Diet (and pescetarian, no less) over the past several weeks. I haven't completely bought in, and I think some of it's just batshit crazy - but I find some value in building some discipline into my diet. One of the consequences is that I don't get to eat bread 6 days a week. No sandwiches, no burgers. It kind of sucks - so when I get to my "cheat day" conveniently Sunday, I frequently want a burger - and a Five Guys bacon burger with grilled onions and hot sauce really hits the spot. I knew I was going to be in the house all day cooking, so I decided to start by making my own (tweaked a bit). Easy stuff.
Double Burger with Bacon Caramelized Onions
80/20 Ground Chuck (It's unAmerican to use other beef for burgers, FYI. Ok, Wagyu is pretty delicious).
Salt and Pepper
Buns of your choosing - I found some decent egg knot rolls at the store.
|I did a crap job slicing.|
Start with the onions (they take a long time):
- Halve an onion. Finely chop 1 quarter and save for the burgers. Slice the rest of the onion thinly.
- Warm up a small pan with a small amount of vegetable oil (or olive) over low-medium heat. You want it as low you can get it and cook the onions.
- Add onions, and salt lightly.
- Stir/toss onions periodically.
- After 25- 30 minutes add a splash basalmic and a pinch of sugar to help along the caramelization.
- Add crumbled bacon around 35 or 40 minutes
- Keep cooking for at least 45 minutes, or until you've got a gooey, caramelly mess of onions. They should be completely limp.
Five Guys, I'm told uses double ground 80/20 chuck, and that's it. I generally go the more traditional route, but I also generally make thick grilled/broiled burgers, not griddle-fried (or "grilled," if you prefer) So, choose your own fate.
- Assuming you don't have a commercial griddle, or even a non-commercial griddle handy, heat up your favorite cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Or hotter.
- Mix the ground chuck with ground pork, roughly 2 parts beef to 1 part pork.
- Add in a splash of Worcestershire and the finely chopped onions (I used roughly half of what I chopped for pounds - you don't want to overwhelm the beef, especially here).
- Salt (keep in mind that you'll add more salt below) and Pepper to taste, and mix.
- Shape into 1.5" inch balls (about 1/4 - 1/3 lb each).
- Place each ball between 2 sheets of cooking parchment (saran wrap would work just fine, I'm sure), and smash down with something heavy (I used my cast-iron tortilla skillet). You want a really thin, 1/4" patty at the end.
- Add to the skillet (dry) and cook on each side 1.5 min until nice and brown.
- Let the patties rest for a few minutes, toast buns, combine with hot sauce (I used Cholula Chili-Garlic) and onions, and enjoy.
|Simple, but great flavors that pushed all the right buttons.|
|Half-done, no-longer looking |
like a gross, soggy mess
Slow and Low Ginger-Soy Wings
For around gametime and guests arriving, I wanted some wings ready. I've never successfully made wings before (mostly because I nearly destroyed my oven the first time I attempted them). I've been served variations these Soy-Ginger Wings before, and wanted to give them a shot. I found a recipe that I followed pretty much to the letter. I will point out that they needed to cook close to 4 hours before they were done. about twice what the recipe indicated (and is suggested by other users in the comments). While not fried-cripsy, they're super tender with a lot of cooked in flavor.
3 - 5 lbs frozen wings
Soy Sauce (lots)
Five Cloves Garlic
Slow-Cooked Ancho Chili Ribs
I've made ribs a handful of times in the oven and slow-cooker, and had good results both ways, but I much prefer the oven in terms of handling and serving a final product. That said, my oven was occupied by wings all day, so slow cooker it was. The results were tasty, but messy. I used a pretty basic rub, with the exception of including my home-made Chili Powder, and cooked with a simple homemade ketchup/apple cider vinegar based BBQ sauce.
Pork Back Ribs (I used Pork Loin Back, because it was on sale; Baby Back are probably better).
Chili Powder and Rub:
Dried Ancho Chilis
Dried Chipotle Peppers (Dried smoked jalepenos).
Dried Serrano Chilis
Whole Coriander (Cilantro) Seeds
Whole Cumin Seeds
Hot Hungarian Paprika
Ground Black Pepper
2 tbsp Chili powder, 1 tbsp each - brown sugar, white sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, smoked spanish paprika. 1 tsp cayenne.
Yes, I used 2 kinds of paprika. Yes, it was probably overkill.
Finely Chopped onions (I used the remaining 1/8 onion left over from the burgers).
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
5 Garlic Cloves, freshly pressed
This is a very basic rib recipe, but if you don't have access to a smoker, it's pretty tough to beat in the kitchen. Tender, moist, fall-off-the-bone ribs.
- Remove membrane from the bottom of the rack. It's there. It shouldn't be. Cut it out. If you have trouble, I recommend this video. Actually, I recommend it even if you know what you're doing. It's amazing.
- Rub each rack liberally, top and bottom, with the rub. You'll get a good, black crust out of it.
- Let it set (ideally overnight, but at least an hour).
- In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onions until clear.
- Add pressed garlic (chopped is probably fine, but I haven't bothered since I found a decent garlic press). Saute for a minute, or until fragrant.
- Add About 2 cups Ketchup and 1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, a splash of Worcestshire.
- Add Chili Powder to taste.
- Simmer 30 minutes, or longer until desired thickness.
- At this point, fine tune flavors. I needed a bit more acid to tie things together, which meant a splash of basalmic and a few tbsp of lemon juice to get a bright, sweet-but-not-too-sweet BBQ sauce.
- Cut each Rack in half, and grill (on something with raised ridges) each side for 5 minutes - get some good grill marks on each rack.
- Add to a slow-cooker, with the top facing the ceramic.
- Add BBQ sauce, and cook on low for 7.5 hours. Reserve enough to spread on each rack.
- Alternatively, brush liberally with BBQ sauce, and roast at 250 for 4 hours.
- Remove ribs from Slow Cooker or Over, brush with BBQ sauce, and roast for 15 min at 400 degrees. (I left the ribs in too long, and there was no way they were going back into the oven).
|A mess, but great.|