RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Almost Abbie's Lil' Diner Burger

For a number of years in Biloxi, MS, Abbie's Lil' Diner made a combination hamburger-poboy called a Burger Burger. As a child and later as a teen, my family would order these for pick-up on the rare occasion my mom did not cook. Abbie's has been closed for years, but a local restaurant in Biloxi, MS purchased the recipe and continues the tradition. The recipe here is my feeble attempt to capture the essence of a wonerful food memory and put my own "adult" stamp on it! There's solace in knowing that while my memory may be altered by time, this burger can bridge that gap.

Ingredients 

1.5 lbs ground beef (85/15)
1 small onion grated
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
1 tablespoon creole mustard
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup cracker crumbs, unsalted
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
3 onions, sliced in rings
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup cabernet savignon
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1 tablesoon creole mustard
1 tablespoon flour
salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup melted butter
3 soft, thin french bread loaves

Instructions 

Gently combine first 9 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Form 6 elongated, flat patties. Chill patties for 20-30 minutes.

Melt butter in a saute pan placed on grill over medium high heat. Add onions and spinkle sugar over them. Saute onions until caramelized and pan is almost dry.

Remove pan from heat and deglaze with wine. Replace pan onto grill. Stir vigorously to remove sediment from bottom of pan. Add beef broth and reduce by half. Add creole mustard. Combine butter and flour to make a beurre manie'. Gradually add beurre amnie' to thicken the gravy, stirring to incorporate. Taste gravy for seasoning - add salt and pepper as needed. Cover gravy and place on indirect heat to stay warm.

Reduce grill temperature to medium heat. Remove patties from ice chest and place onto grill. Close grill and let cook for 5 minutes. Open grill, flip burgers, close lid and grill 4 more minutes. Remove burgers, place on tray and cover with foil to rest for 15 minutes.

Sliced french loaves horizontally. liberally paint cut sides with melted butter. Place loaves, cut side down, on indirect heat for 5 minutes. Remove loaves from heat.

Assemble burgers by placing 2 patties on each loaf bottom. Spoon gravy and onion mixture over patties evenly. Top with remaining french bread.

Serve immediately.

Comments 

The strength of this burger lies in its simplicity. The uncomplicated flavor of the patty itself is enhanced greatly by the onion gravy. The creole mustard provides a tangy backdrop for the combination.