RECIPES: Recipe Details
Being the daughter of a native Wisconsinite, butter was not just a regular part of our household, but rather an obligation. While born and raised in Illinois, I was told many a tale of the illegality of margarine in Wisconsin, and how my mom and dad used to smuggle it into Wisconsin, hidden beneath the bucket seats of my dad’s Austin Healey, to margarine-curious relatives in his home state. My thought process was that if margarine could be banned in Wisconsin, would Illinois ban Wisconsin butter? It was a horror to ponder and, thank goodness, never came to fruition. This is a tribute to the Milwaukee favorite, “the butter burger”, but with just a little bit of French refinement (or at least that’s what I tell myself as I mop the red wine butter from my chin).
One (1) cup Sutter Home Pinot Noir
Two (2) shallots, finely chopped
Five (5) sprigs fresh, flat-leaved parsley, finely chopped
Two (2) garlic cloves, minced to a paste
Sixteen (16) ounces unsalted butter, softened (preferably grass-fed) Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Three (3) tablespoons Colavita Aged Red Wine Vinegar
One-quarter (¼) cup plus two teaspoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil (reserving 2 teaspoons for ground chuck patties)
One (1) head frisee (preferably organic), washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
Six (6) brioche rolls, split
One (1) 7 oz. log fresh chevre, softened
Two (2) lbs. freshly ground chuck (80% lean, 20% fat)
INSTRUCTIONS Set-up your grill grate for direct grilling and start your grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, you want to work towards a medium-hot fire. If you have a gas grill, you want to set your temperature gauge to medium-high. Beurre Rouge: To prepare beurre rouge, combine your wine and your chopped shallots in your small, fireproof pot. Place your pot on your grill and bring the wine-shallot mixture to a bowl. Cook until your wine has nearly evaporated, leaving just a red wine-shallot sludge in your pot. At this stage, pay very careful attention to not let your shallots scorch. Once your red wine-shallot mixture has reached this stage, immediately take your pot off your grill and, using your spatula, place your red wine-shallot sludge into your small bowl. Set the bowl aside to cool. Meanwhile, in one of your large bowls, combine your garlic paste, chopped parsley, and your softened butter to combine. To your butter mixture, add your cooled red wine-shallot mixture and combine. Season your butter with salt and pepper to taste. Using your spatula, divide your finished beurre rouge (yep, it’s done!) in your large bowl, three-quarters of your beurre rouge to one side and the remaining one-quarter to the other. Remove a large piece of plastic wrap. Scrape out your larger portion of the beurre rouge and plot it into the center of the plastic wrap. Place the remaining one-third portion of your beurre rouge aside (you will be using this to butter your brioche rolls). Using the wrap to guide, begin to roll your beurre rouge into a 1 to 1 1/2 diameter roll. Once you have formed your roll, twist the ends of your plastic wrap so as to form a big, beurre rouge tootsie roll. Place your beurre rouge roll in a cool area to firm. Frisee Salad: To a large bowl, add your red wine vinegar. Slowly drizzle your olive oil into your vinegar while whisking, whisking until emulsified. Place your washed and torn frisee atop of your dressing. Do not toss your salad at this stage. Set aside while preparing your buns and burgers. Preparing Buns: Using your reserved beurre rouge, butter the cut sides, tops and bottoms, of each of your brioche buns. Place your buns cut-side down on your grill. While toasting, lay out six parchment paper squares in an assembly line fashion. Remove all buns from the grill and set onto your assembly line with all the bottoms resting in the middle of your parchment paper with the tops nearby. Spread each of your bottom buns with your herbed chevre. Ground Chuck Burgers: Form your ground chuck into six (6) equal-sized patties. Using your basting brush or your hands, coat your burgers with your reserved two teaspoons of olive oil. Season each side of your burger with sea salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Place your burgers onto the grill. Grill your burgers until medium rare (approximately four minutes each side, but this will always depend upon your grill’s personality), or your desired doneness. Remove your burgers from the grill and place on a plate on a single layer to rest for approximately 30 seconds. Assembling Burgers: While your burgers are resting, remove your beurre rouge log from its cool place, unwrap, and cut into one-inch slices and set aside. Toss your frisee salad so that your frisee is coated with the vinaigrette. Place a small mound of your frisee salad atop the chevre on your bottom buns. Place burgers onto the frisee. Place a one-inch slice of your beurre rouge atop each burger and top with your top brioche buns. Slide each finished burger to the middle of the parchment paper square on the edge furthest from you. Pull the edge of the paper closest to you over the top of the burger, tucking it underneath. Next, fold the corners under the burger, not unlike wrapping a present. Once the burger is wrapped, take a sharp, serrated knife and, slicing through the parchment, cut your burgers in half. Place a decorative toothpick through the parchment into each burger half to secure and serve. Keep lots of extra napkins near. Enjoy!
TOOLS Hot pads of your choice Your favorite chopping knife One (1) flexible chopping mat One (1) small fireproof pot One (1) small bowl Three (2) large mixing bowls One (1) rubber spatula One (1) roll plastic wrap One (1) whisk One (1) fireproof (silicon) basting brush One (1) fireproof spatula Parchment paper Twelve (12) decorative toothpicks of your choice LOTS of napkins!