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Burgers a la Russe

Ethnic flavor - America is about a blend of various nationalities. Russian ancestry influenced this burger! I enjoyed my family's Eastern European cooking influences having grown up in the melting pot of Chicago with Russian-Polish roots. My aunt was the Borscht expert in the family. We loved her creamy, blush-colored beet soup that was so tasty. This hearty burger is enhanced with flavor reminiscent of the famed Russian soup and is easy to assemble in short order. The taste twist: pickled beets with fresh cucumber and sour cream topping. Delicious served with a rich, red Sutter Home wine.


2 pounds freshly ground chuck
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Celtic salt
1/4 stick butter
1 red onion chopped

Jar or can of sliced pickled red beets
One peeled, seeded and diced cucumber
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 teaspoon dry dill weed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Crisp Romaine lettuce leaves

2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
12 dark bread slices or 6 rolls, such as black or pumpernickel


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cove, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the topping, peel, seed and dice one cucumber. Blend with1 cup sour cream, add salt and dry dill weed and mix gently. Sauté chopped onion in butter until golden brown.

To make the patties, combine ground chuck with salt, pepper and caramelized onions. Form into patties to fit the bread/buns. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Place the dark bread/buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, Spread sour cream/cucumber mixture first on cut side of bottom bun. Place a grilled patty, followed by sliced pickled beets to cover burger and place Romaine leaves on top. Serve on hearty dark bread or rolls.


Thank you...I hope you enjoy the creative recipe with its unique taste. It is easy to prepare and a bit unconventional!