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Big Bad Brooklyn Burger

Here in South Florida it is easy to grill outside most days of the year. Burgers are a natural choice for affordable, delicious meals. When I grill, cooking becomes a lot more fun, so I tend to grill as much as possible. Therefore, I needed to become more creative with my burgers. One of my family's favorites evolved from our love of deli foods. Rueben sandwiches and hot pastrami are top picks and I decided to style my burgers like a deli sandwich. This is how the Big Bad Brooklyn Burger was born.

Ingredients 

3 cups white onion, thinly sliced
1 cup sauerkraut, drained
5 tablespoons salted butter
2 teaspoons dry seasoning from 1 package Durkee or McCormick Black Pepper Marinade (Do Not Make Marinade)
1-1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish, drained
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
2 teaspoons caraway seed
24 slices pastrami, first cut or top round
4 tablespoons water
6 bakery style soft onion kaiser rolls, 4" size
Salad oil
2-1/2 pounds ground chuck, 75-25 or 80-20, preferably freshly ground
2 teaspoons Black Pepper Marinade dry spice
1 teaspoon No MSG Meat Tenderizer
12 slices aged Swiss cheese
6 teaspoons Grey Poupon Dijon mustard

Instructions 

Start charcoal briquettes. Use 50 briquettes. Mix onions, sauerkraut, butter and dry seasoning. Tear off piece of aluminum foil large enough to hold onion and kraut mixture. Place onion mixture on foil and bring sides together at the top and fold over tightly. Set aside. When coals have begun to ash over, place grill 2-1/2" to 3" above coals. Place onion sauerkraut mixture package in middle of grill and let cook , checking every 15 minutes. When onions begin to caramalize (turn yellow or light brown), move package to side of grill where it will cook slowly. Mixture will take 1 hour to cook. When onion mixture has been on the fire for 1/2 hour, start 40 new coals in a seperate container. While the onion mixture is cooking, prepare the Russian dressing. Mix mayonnaise, ketchup, and sweet pickle relish. Refrigerate. Prepare the caraway butter. Mix butter and caraway seed. Set aside at room temperature. Prepare pastrami. Tear off a large enough piece of aluminum foil to hold pastrami. Make 6 piles of 4 slices each of pastrami and place on foil. Pour the 4 tablespoons water on top of piles of pastrami and bring sides of foil together at the top and fold tightly. Set aside. Prepare the rolls. Seperate the caraway butter into 6 portions. Slice rolls if not already cut and spread each roll with 1/6th of the butter. Set aside. 10 minutes before the onions are done, place pastrami package on grill. You want the pastrami to steam gently, so check it after a few minutes to make sure its not getting over done. Mix ground chuck with black pepper dry spice and meat tenderizer. Mix gently, this will give you a more tender burger. Make 6 equal patties, each 4" wide and 3/4" high (6.6 oz. each). Set aside. Remove the onion kraut package and pastrami package from grill when time is up. Set aside and keep warm. Add new coals to fire, they should be burned down just right by now. Let grill heat back up for 3 minutes, fire should be hot enough to sear the burgers but not hot enough to burn. Pour 3 tablespoons salad oil on several folded paper towels. Quickly and carefully wipe the grill with salad oil. Place burgers on grill and let cook 5 minutes on one side. Turn over and cook burgers 5 minutes on other side. When time is up, place 4 slices of warm pastrami on each burger. Seperate onion kraut mixture into 6 portions and place on top of pastrami. Now place 2 slices of Swiss cheese on top each of the onion mixtures. Let burgers cook and cheese melt for 3 minutes. If you have a lid on your grill, you can close it now. Keep an eye on the burgers so the cheese doesn't get too melted. When cheese is melted, remove burgers to plate and set aside. Set buttered side of rolls directly on grill to brown. Its easiest to do 3 at a time. Move rolls around until toasted light brown. Remove and spread each roll with 1 teaspoon Grey Poupon mustard and 2 tablespoons Russian dressing. Place burgers on rolls and serve immediately. Serve remainder of Russian dressing on side.

Comments 

You will need heavy duty aluminum foil and paper towels. This recipe was cooked on a small, Smokey Joe Weber grill. I prefer to grind my buger from a well marbled chuck roast. I use a Kitcen Aid attachment grinder.