RECIPES: Recipe Details
Single Malt Scotch Burgers
I have come to appreciate the smoky/peaty flavor of good Single Malt Highland Scotch and thought it would make a wonderful accompaniment to a good burger. Then I thought how it would taste really great *in* a good burger.
2 pounds ground chuck (20% fat)
1/4 cup finely diced sweet onion
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh coarsley ground pepper
1 tablespoon 12 year old Thomatin Single Malt Scotch*
6 slices baby swiss cheese
6 hamburger buns
vegetable oil (for grill)
1) Preheat your gas grill on high, with the lid shut, for 15 to 20 minutes. Or, if using a charcoal grill, ignite about 6 quarts (1 large chimney or about 6 pounds) of charcoal and burn until coals are completely covered with thin coating of light gray ash, 20 to 30 minutes. Spread the coals evenly over the grill bottom, position the grill rack above the coals, and heat until medium-hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill surface for no longer than 3 or 4 seconds).
2) In a medium bowl, break up the ground beef with your hands. Sprinkle the onion, salt and pepper, over the meat, then add the Scotch. Work the meat gently to distribute the seasonings.
3) Divide meat into 6 5 to 6-ounce portions. Gently toss one portion of the meat back and forth between your hands to form a loose ball. Lightly flatten it into a patty about 3/4-inch thick. With your middle three fingers, gently press the center of the patty down to about 1/2-inch thick, creating a small depression; repeat with the remaining meat portions.
4) Scrape the hot grill rack clean with a wire brush. Lightly dip a wadded paper towel into the vegetable oil and, holding it with tongs, wipe the grill rack to oil it. Grill the patties without pressing down on them, until well seared on the first side, about 5 minutes. Flip the burgers and continue grilling until done as desired adding cheese for the last minute.
5) Put the buns on the grill for a minute or so to lightly toast them before serving. Serve the burgers immediately with your choice of condiments, although I prefer just a little ketchup.
Thanks to Cooks Illustrated magazine for the burger denting technique and to Alton Brown for the patty making technique.
*If Thomatin 12 year old is not avaialbe, use any good single malt Highland Scotch whiskey.