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Chi-Town Chop House Burger with Corn Relish

Chicago is a steak town. All over the city there are lots of restaurants serving wonder prime aged steaks, all corn fed from the mid-west. I wanted to create a burger that reflected some of the wonderful menu items common to many of the chop-house places around town. This burger starts out filled with a compound butter of shallots and parsley that after cooking creates extra juiciness and flavor, I also used a nice gorgonzola cheese melted over the burger to represent the great cheese topped filets found on the menus around here. The burger is finished with a corn relish, spinach, marinated beefsteak tomatoes and onions, both are nods to the some of the sides you can order with your steak, and for a little extra kick, a horseradish aioli to gives it that chop house flavor. Enjoy!


6 tablespoons salted butter, softened slightly
2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound ground chuck
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Zinfandel
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

5 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 tablespoons coarse grain mustard
2 1/2 teaspoons horseradish
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

6 - 1/3 inch thick slices beefsteak tomato (about 2 medium tomatoes)
6 – very thin slices of white onion (about 1 medium white onion)
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Olive oil for the grill rack
6 ounces gorgonzola, sliced as thin as possible
6 onion Kaiser buns, split
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover.

To make the patties, in a small bowl with a fork, mix together the butter, parsley, shallots and seasoned salt. Shape into a small log using waxed paper and chill for about 15 minutes. In a large bowl, mix together the ground sirloin, ground chuck, Worcestershire sauce, Sutter Home Zinfandel, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Mix carefully by hand to incorporate all of the ingredients. Divide into 6 equal pieces, forming a loose ball with each. Remove the chilled butter mixture from the refrigerator, cut into 6 equal slices. For each burger, push one portion of butter into the middle of the ball, enclosing the butter completely. Shape each ball into a round patty about ¾ inches thick, pushing a small indentation into the top of each patty. Cover and chill.

To make the horseradish aioli, in small bowl combine the mayonnaise, coarse grain mustard, horseradish and lemon zest. Stir to mix well and set aside.

To make the corn relish, in a medium bowl combine the fresh corn, red pepper, green onion, kosher salt, black pepper and white wine vinegar, fold all together. Set aside.

In a shallow bowl, sprinkle the beefsteak tomato slices and onion slices with the red wine vinegar, set aside.

Brush the grill rack with the olive oil. Place the patties on the grill; cook approximately 3 minutes per side, turning once. Divide the gorgonzola cheese slices evenly over the 6 patties during the last two minutes of grilling, close the cover for one minute to melt the cheese. Remove the patties from the heat; place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly for one to two minutes.

To assemble the burger, spread equal amounts of horseradish aioli mixture on the top and bottom of each bun, place 1/3 cup baby spinach leaves on each of the bottom buns, place the cheese topped patties on top of the spinach and top each patty with equal amounts of the corn relish, then top the corn relish with one slice of tomato and one slice of onion, add the bun tops and serve.
Serves 6


As noted, I cook at home on a charcoal grill, this of course can be adapted to a gas grill very easily, but it may extend the cooking time.