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Beet and Battered Burger

The Beet and Battered Burger is a grilled and beer-battered quarter pound all-beef patty that showcases the tastes of Philadelphia with the traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Served on a toasted Potato Roll with Cracked Pepper Cream Cheese, Caramelized Vidalia Onions, Pickled Matchstick Carrots and Sweet Heat Beet Sauce, the Beet and Battered Burger presents a twist on traditional Amish cooking, paired with a couple of the popular indulgences of Philadelphia. There seems to be an unspoken rule in Philly cuisine: If you CAN deep-fry it, you SHOULD! This burger is no exception.

The beer batter, as well as the Caramelized Vidalia Onions, features Yuengling Traditional Lager. Established in 1829 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Yuengling is America’s Oldest Brewery and a staple in just about every pub and restaurant in the area. The Cracked Pepper Cream Cheese is, of course, made with Philadelphia brand cream cheese and loads of fresh cracked pepper for that extra bite.

The Pickled Matchstick Carrots and Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Rolls are great examples of a centuries-old Amish tradition emphasizing the "seven sweets and seven sours," where various pickled foods and starchy dishes are paired on the table as part of the evening meal. Pickled red beets, the (not-so-secret) secret ingredient in the tangy red sauce, are another example of this Pennsylvania Dutch tradition, fired up with a twist of heat to make the tangy and delicious Sweet Heat Beet Sauce that truly makes this burger a standout sensation.

Ingredients 

Approx 1/2 gallon vegetable or canola oil for deep-frying

6 - 8 ounces matchstick carrots

1 cup distilled white vinegar

2 Tbsp white sugar

1/2 tsp pickling salt or table salt

8 oz. Philadelphia® Cream Cheese, softened

1 tsp fresh cracked pepper

2/3 cup chili sauce

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 Tbsp hot sauce

4 oz. (10-12 slices) pickled red beets

Pinch of kosher salt

1 1/2 lbs. ground chuck (80/20)

3 Tbsp ketchup

2 Tbsp Vidalia onion, minced

1 1/2 Tbsp green bell pepper, minced

2 1/2 tsp horseradish, prepared

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1 large Vidalia onion, sliced thin into 2 inch strips

1/2 cup Yuengling Traditional Lager (or other lager)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 cup McCormick Beer Batter mix

2/3 cup Yuengling Traditional Lager (or other lager)

6 Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Rolls

Instructions 

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Fill a Dutch Oven with about 3 inches of frying oil, cover and place on grill.

To pickle the carrots, place carrots in a non-reactive bowl. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over grill and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved, approx. 2 min. Remove and cool slightly. Pour warm mixture over carrots, cover and marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

For the Cracked Pepper Cream Cheese, add cream cheese and cracked pepper to a food processor and pulse until well mixed, approx. 30 sec. Cover and refrigerate.

To make the Sweet Heat Beet Sauce, combine chili sauce, brown sugar, hot sauce and beets in a small saucepan and cook over grill until sugar dissolves, approx. 2 min., stirring frequently. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth, approx. 30 sec. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

For the burgers, combine ground chuck, ketchup, onion, bell pepper, horseradish, salt and dry mustard in a large bowl and mix well. Divide into 6 quarter pound portions and form into 1/2 inch thick patties. Grill over medium-high heat to medium doneness, approx 4 min. each side. Remove from grill and tent with foil.

Caramelize the onions by coating the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil and preheating over the grill. Add sliced onions and cook until caramelized, stirring as little as possible, approx. 10 minutes. Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup beer and cook 1 minute more, or until all the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Make the beer batter by combining 1 cup beer batter mix and 2/3 cup beer in a small bowl. Mix until smooth. The batter should be thick enough to cling to a warm burger. Set aside.

Turn grill up to high and check temperature of frying oil. When oil reaches a temperature of 355 to 365°F, coat grilled burgers in beer batter and carefully place in frying oil. Deep-fry uncovered until crisp and golden, approx. 2 to 3 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

Toast the potato rolls on grill, cut side down, approx 30 sec.

To assemble, spread Cracked Pepper Cream Cheese on the tops and bottoms of the toasted Potato Rolls. Pile Caramelized Vidalia Onions on the bottom rolls, followed by the beer-battered burgers. Place a large spoonful of Sweet Heat Beet Sauce on top of burgers and cover with Pickled Matchstick Carrots and the top rolls. Serve immediately.

Comments 

I've found that deep-frying on a grill is not difficult with the right vessel. If a Dutch Oven is unavailable, a large frying pan will work, but it should be made of fairly thin steel to conduct enough heat to raise the oil to a proper frying temperature. I grill on a small Weber at home, and it gives off plenty of heat to deep-fry, though it may take an hour for the oil to reach the right temperature on some grills.