What is the antidote to a week of eating nothing but food from the sea (not that I was complaining)? A burger with the most amazing pub sauce ever!!
I just returned from a week with the family down in gorgeous Cornwall. The scenery is stunning – cliffs, beaches, crashing waves, ancient castles. The food is pretty spectacular too, particularly the super-fresh seafood. Had off-the-boat lobsters delivered to our rental house one night, then all sorts of other seafood the other nights – whole-roasted plaice (so good I had it twice), chili crab, fish cakes, fish ‘n chips, oysters, mussels, smoked mackerel…..
After all that amazing seafood, I returned home seriously craving red meat. And a proper burger fit the bill. My absolute favorite burger recipe is from Cooks Illustrated and involves chilling beef tips or short ribs, grinding chilled meat in a food processor and finally adding melted butter. It is the best at-home burger I’ve ever had, hands-down. Just takes a bit more work than I was ready to handle just coming off of vacation.
So instead I opted for store-ground meat and dressed it up with this burger-transforming “pub sauce”. It’s also from Cooks Illustrated – it accompanies the aforementioned home-ground burger. The sauce is not particularly pretty to look at, but will transform your garden variety beef burger into something pub-worthy. It’ll be a double-napkiner.
And don’t just limit it to the burgers…dip your fries, vegetables, anything, in it as well.
Burgers with Pub Sauce (makes 4 servings)
Note: Use any remaining pub sauce as a dip for fries or potato wedges.
1/3 cup (75 grams) mayonnaise
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon minced chives
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 hamburger patties
4 slices cheese (optional)
Other toppings: lettuce, tomato, sautéed onion
To make the pub sauce: Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together until combined.
To make the burgers: Season hamburger patties with salt and pepper. Cook hamburger patties on a hot grill or in a large saute pan on the stove over medium-high heat, to desired doneness (about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare, 5 minutes per side for medium). If making cheeseburgers, place cheese atop the burgers for the last 2 minutes of cooking. After burgers are cooked, toast buns on the grill or in the saute pan (if using saute pan, wipe away hamburger grease with paper towel / kitchen roll before placing buns in the pan). Place burgers in the toasted buns, add desired toppings and a dollop or two of pub sauce.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated