RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Borscht Burger

Upon marrying my Ukrainian husband, I was introduced by his mother to the wonderful world of Ukrainian cooking. Being southern, a lot of the herb and spice combinations were foreign to me, but I quickly learned that they were delicious. She was the one that taught me that fresh beets could be used for more things than just pickling. This burger is a tribute to the wonderful Ukrainian culture and most importantly to my late mother-in-law who taught me to think outside of my southern box.

Ingredients 

Borscht Slaw
1 16-ounce package three color deli cole slaw mix
1 ½ cups shredded fresh beets*
1 cup thinly julienned red onion
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 ½ tablespoons country Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon coarse salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground coarse ground tri-color peppercorns
Patties
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 ½ slices ( ½” thick) Russian dark rye bread
1 cup heaping and packed finely minced red onion
¾ cup shredded, then finely minced fresh beets*
3 tablespoons finely minced fresh garlic
3 tablespoons, packed, finely minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons minced Italian leaf parsley
3 tablespoons horseradish sauce
3 tablespoons country style Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons coarse salt
2 ½ teaspoons freshly ground coarse ground tri-color peppercorns
3 pounds freshly ground, ground chuck (ask butcher for 24% fat content)
vegetable oil for grill
12 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
12 slices ( ½” thick ) Russian dark rye bread
6 tablespoons horseradish sauce
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
*Thoroughly wash and peel the beets prior to shredding

Instructions 

To Prepare the Slaw: In a large 4 quart mixing bowl, toss together the 16-ounce package of three color deli cole slaw mix, the 1 ½ cups shredded fresh beets, and the 1 cup julienned red onion, tossing until well mixed. Set aside. In a small 4 cup mixing bowl, whisk together the 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 2 ½ tablespoons country Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon coarse salt and the ¾ teaspoon freshly ground coarse ground tri-color peppercorns, whisking until smooth and will mixed. Pour the dressing over the surface of the slaw and mix until the dressing is well blended with the slaw. Pour the contents into a sealable plastic bag; seal the edge and place in the refrigerator until needed. To Make the Patties: Preheat the gas grill to 450°. Brush the melted butter over both sides of the slices of Russian rye bread. Place the buttered Russian rye bread on the grill and toast until deeply toasted (approximately 2 minutes per side). Be careful not to burn the bread. Remove the bread from the grill and place into a food processor. Pulse the processor until the bread has been reduced to crumbs. Set aside. In a large 4 quart mixing bowl, mix together the 1 heaping cup and firmly packed finely minced red onion, ¾ cup shredded then finely minced fresh beets, 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh garlic, 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh dill, 2 tablespoons minced Italian leaf parsley, 3 tablespoons horseradish sauce, 3 tablespoons country style Dijon mustard, 3 teaspoons coarse salt, and the 2 ½ teaspoons freshly ground coarse ground tri-color peppercorns stirring until well blended. Add the 3 pounds freshly ground chuck and handling the meat as little as possible gently fold together the onion mixture with the meat, folding until the onion mixture is evenly distributed throughout the meat. Sprinkle the prepared bread crumbs over the surface of the meat, then gently fold the bread crumbs into the meat, folding until the bread crumbs are evenly distributed. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and let it stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. To Grill the Burgers: Uncover the meat and divide the meat into 6 equal portions. Gently form the portions into burgers approximately the shape and size of the Russian Rye bread (patties should be approximately ½” thick). Generously brush the preheated (450°) gas grill with the vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Place the burgers on the oiled grill and cook 10 minutes per side for medium doneness (internal temperature of the burger should be 160°). Remove the cooked burgers from the grill and place them on a baking sheet. Cover the burgers lightly with aluminum foil and let them rest for 5 minutes. Spread ½ tablespoon of salted butter on each side of the Russian Rye bread slice. Place the bread on the hot grill and toast for approximately 1 - 1 ½ minutes per side or until lightly toasted with light grill marks. Be careful not to scorch the bread. To Assemble the Burger: Place one slice of toasted Russian Rye bread onto a serving plate. Spread 1 tablespoon of horseradish sauce evenly over the surface of the bread. Add a cooked burger patty on top of the horseradish sauce, then top the patty with ¼ cup of the Borscht slaw, gently spreading the slaw out evenly over the surface of the patty. Spread ½ tablespoon of mayonnaise over the surface of the top piece of Russian Rye bread then place the piece of bread (mayonnaise side down) on top of the slaw. Skewer the burger with a wooden skewer and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Comments 

Thoroughly wash the beets then peel before shredding in a food processor. To minimize dying of the hands, wear disposable gloves when handling the raw beets. The slaw can be made 24 hours in advance of serving. For best results, ask the butcher for 24% fat content in the ground chuck.