RECIPES: Recipe Details

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West Virginia Hillbilly Burger (a.k.a. Spicy Beef and Cheddar Burger with Caramelized Wild Ramp and Apple Chutney)

This is a great local burger burger because ramps are very popular in West Virginia. There are many state festivals and events that celebrate ramps every year. They are actually wild leeks. The flavor and odor is of ramps is like a very strong onion with a hint of garlic. I grew up in rural West Virginia and my grandparents cooked ramps every spring. Apples are also very abundent in West Virginia. So this chutney is a interesting way to enjoy the flavors of both.

Ingredients 

Beef Patties
2 Pounds Ground Chuck
2 Tablespoons Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
6 Slices Cheddar Cheese

Caramelized Wild Ramp and Apple Chutney
3 Strips Bacon
10-12 Fresh Ramps (frozen can be used if not in season)
2 Golden Delicious Apples
Juice and Zest from 1 Lemon
1 Tablespoon Apricot Jam
1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar
1 /4 Teaspoon Salt

Extra Ingredients
Vegetable Oil for Brushing Grill
6 Sesame Seed Topped Hamburger Buns
1 Stick Butter (room temperature)
Iceberg Lettuce

Instructions 

In a large bowl combine the ground chuck, 2 T pepper, 1 t salt, 1 t cayenne pepper, and 2 T Worcestershire sauce. Form into 6 patties. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to grill.

Place a medium fire proof skillet on the hot grill. Cut the bacon into small pieces and add to pan. Fry until crispy then remove bacon from pan and drain on a paper towel.

While bacon is frying, wash and drain ramps. Then slice using the entire ramp, the white bulb to the green leaf.

Next, peel and slice apples into thin sections. Add the ramps and apples to the bacon drippings still in the pan and cook until they begin soften. The ramps will have a strong onion and garlic aroma. Then add the brown sugar and apricot jam. They will begin to caramelize after about 5 minutes. Finally, add the lemon juice and zest. Remove from heat and cover with foil.

Brush the grill with vegetable oil. Place patties on grill. Grill for about 5-6 minutes on each side. Turning only once. During the last minute of cooking add a slice of cheddar cheese to each patty.

To prepare buns, generously coat the inside of each bun with softened butter. Place on outer edge of grill buttered side down and lightly toast. This will only take about 1-2 minutes.

Add the cripsy bacon to the chutney and gently mix together.

Assemble burgers by first adding a few leaves of iceberg lettuce to the bottom bun. Then top with a cheesy patty. Next add 2-3 Tablespoons of chutney to the top of each patty. Top with top of bun. Cut in half and enjoy.