RECIPES: Recipe Details
Country Ham Studded Beef Burgers with Quick Pickled Peaches
Quick Pickled Peaches
3 fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon minced or grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, julienned
Country Ham Studded Beef Burgers
2 pounds freshly ground chuck (about 80% lean)
1/2 cup country ham, diced
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (for oiling grill grate)
6 ciabatta sandwich rolls or seeded hamburger rolls
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
6 red leaf lettuce leaves
6 large slices tomato
12 large fresh basil leaves
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
Place chopped peaches in a small saucepan; add ginger, honey, vinegar and pepper flakes; place saucepan on grill just until mixture is hot, stirring gently to blend. Remove from heat; add basil, cover and reserve while preparing burgers.
Combine ground chuck, country ham, onion, jalapeno pepper, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. With clean hands or a large sturdy spoon, mix gently but thoroughly, handling as little as possible to prevent compacting. Form into 6 equal sized patties. Coat the clean grill grate with vegetable oil, then place patties on the preheated grill grate. Grill, 4 to 5 minutes per side or to desired degree of doneness, turning occasionally. About two minutes before the burgers are done, place rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack until lightly toasted.
Blend mayonnaise and mustard; spread mixture lightly over cut sides of toasted rolls. Line bottom of each roll with a lettuce leaf, a tomato slice and two fresh basil leaves; top with burger and a heaping spoonful of the peach mixture (use a slotted spoon). Close sandwiches. Yield: six incredible burgers.
Tiny jewels of country ham throughout the burgers provide a decidedly southern flavor boost, as does the fresh peach topping. Nectarines may be substituted for the peaches, if desired. Since country ham tends to be quite salty, I cut down on the amount of additional salt in these scrumptious burgers.