RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Green Mountain Vermonster Burger

Ingredients 

1/2 pound maple breakfast sausage
2 pounds ground Angus chuck beef
1/2 cup finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon pepper
12 pieces maple cured hickory smoked bacon
1 large red onion, quartered and sliced thin

Maple mustard sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons pure grade B maple syrup
3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Vegetable oil for grilling
6 ounces of Vermont aged cheddar cheese, cut 1/4 inch thick
6 large whole wheat hamburger buns
1 small jar (5-6 ounces) pickled Fiddlehead ferns (or dill pickles)
1 large heirloom tomato, like Brandywine or Cherokee
1 head of bib or "Boston" lettuce

Instructions 

Prepare a grill for heat in 2 zones one at 325 and the other no heat.

Remove the sausage from the casings. Combine the sausage, beef, chives, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt and pepper in a large bowl and roughly mix with your hands. Cover and set aside in a cool place.

Place a large oven safe skillet directly on the hot side of the grill and cook the bacon until crispy, about 5 minutes per side. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Toss in the sliced onions and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until done. Place them in a small bowl and set aside in a warm place.

Mix the mayo, mustard, syrup, vinegar and Tabasco sauce together and set aside in a cool place.

Take the meat and form 6 large patties large enough in diameter to cover about 1/2 inch bigger than the diameter of the bun. Make a small indentation in the middle of the patty about 1 inch in diameter.

Once the grill is hot clean the grate with a wire brush and oil it liberally.

Place the patties on the grill directly over high heat and cover. Cook 4 to 6 minutes per side keeping covered all the time. Once they are done remove them from the grill and place on a dish. Top each patty with a 1 ounce thick slice of cheese and allow the dish to rest in a warm spot.

While the meat is resting, toast the rolls for 20 to 30 seconds on both sides for some added crunch. Strain the fiddle heads from the jar and roughly chop them. Slice the tomato into 6 large slices.

To assemble the burgers, spread a few tablespoons of the maple mustard sauce on the cut side of both the top and bottom buns. Take a leaf of lettuce and place it on top of the bottom bun. Top the lettuce with a few tablespoons of cooked onion and sprinkle the onion with a few tablespoons of chopped fiddleheads. Add the burger cheese side up. Top the cheese with 2 slices of cooked bacon then top the bacon with a slice of tomato. Top with the top bun sauce side down.

Makes 6 burgers

Comments 

This is the perfect northeast burger because it combines local ingredients to create the taste that is unique to the region. In the spring in Vermont we boil maple sap to make syrup and collect fiddlehead fern coins from the river banks. The syrup is canned in tins and the fiddleheads are pickled in small jars in the spring.

Mid August is harvest season and tomatoes are plentiful. We grow heirloom tomatoes because they have the best flavor. This burger is best in late summer and the fall when you have an abundance of fresh tomatoes. The maple in the sausage, bacon and sauce makes it the ideal Vermont burger. The Vermont cheddar and pickled fiddleheads bring it over the top.