Thursday, February 10, 2011

Good Rockin' Tonight - After Bar Burger

Hamburgers are a staple in this country as all Americans know but more and more 'gourmet' burgers or 'non-traditional' burgers are becoming popular. You see them displayed on food shows, piled high with unlikely ingredients that seem to work. You see shows that promote burger challenges, and you see television commericals advertising McDonald's or Burger King all the time.

I rarely make burgers, I'm not sure why, maybe because they are readily available anywhere, anytime, anyhow. But I like a burger that is 'non-conformist, countercultural' if you will. In my recent trips to Las Vegas, they have been burger bars that have opened up offer these type of burgers. Far from your sliced pickle and melted cheese. I'm a fan of a California burger, sliced avocado or guacamole on top of a grilled burger as well as inventive stuffed burgers. I've made jalapeno popper stuffed burgers to jumbo shrimp burgers to salsa stuffed burgers before much to people's delight. So when I first read about this burger, I had to try it.

The article came from the most unlikely of sources. I was coming home from Las Vegas and purchased Runner's World for the plane ride. A writer wrote about a post-run meal he had in Boston Mass. It was a sloppy, sluggy, drunk food type of burger but it got my attention. I had to try it. One historic and iconic celebrity/musician was a big fan of this type of sandwich/burger, Elvis Presley. I love me some Elvis, hip-shaking rockabilly and fat, diamond-studded Vegas Elvis. He loved his banana-bacon beef sandwich.

It is a total after bar, "I'm wasted, need food" endeavor. It emcompasses saltiness, nuttiness, smoky-ness, beefy-ness (spelling?), overall GOODNESS, a total meal with a beer or aiding in soaking up many beers. HA! I removed the banana and prepared what the writer of a Runner's World editorial was so in love with....Peanut Butter Bacon Burger!

Ah yes, soak it up, think about it, it makes perfect sense, stoner's food delight! Hits on all nasty levels, throw out the diet for one self-indulgent meal. Yes, that's what it is. Tell Grandma you love her because after this, everything is different, nothing will ever be the same. (A little over-dramatic, don't you think?)

Adjust your recipe to how you like it or want it (after those beers).
  • Crispy bacon, I used strips but if you can get slab bacon for bigger cuts, go for it
  • heaping pile of peanut butter, soften it up in microwave for 30 seconds
  • ground beef to make burger, I used mixed ground beef and pork, seasoned of course
  • mayo, optional, for the spread on the bottom of the bun
  • grilled bun, need that crunchy, crispy bread
  • more beer, if you aren't too drunk all ready, "Please, don't drink and drive."
Since it is winter and subzero outside and that I winterized my grill (sadness), I cooked the burger on a grill pan. Toast your bun then add peanut butter to top of burger, pile bacon on top of peanut butter, slather mayo on the bottom bun, put it all together and take note. Elvis was doing this back in the 50s. Elvis loved his banana, bacon burger. God Bless the King!

The bun was toasted in the bacon fat. Damn, I could just eat the bun alone. So nice....

The burger was so right on all levels. Perhaps at first sight or first read, peanut butter with bacon and beef may not seem fantastic, but it seriously works real well. The mayo in addition to the peanut butter provides creaminess but doesn't distract from the overall flavor. It could be omitted if you don't fancy mayo but I think it adds to the burger.

The peanut butter gives it a nutty flavor but it isn't as prominent as you would think. It takes on the role of ketchup or mayo, a supporting actor in comparison, important to the film but doesn't take the lead. I've had peanut butter sauces in dishes before and this works the same way, you notice the flavor but it doesn't overpower or complicate the main ingredient.

I slightly over-cooked the bacon to my liking but it added my necessary crunch to a plate, the salty/smokiness of the bacon complemented the other flavors.

I like my burger medium rare to rare as I cooked it 3 minutes a side on the grill pan. It was quite juicy so the juicy, peanut buttery, salty goodness was dripping down my chin.

Obvious note....this is not the most healthy meal but when you need some grub after a night of drinking or hanging at the pub with your friends, healthy foods may not cut it. A juciy burger will definitely suffice. Add some interesting ingredients and it will nourish your spinning mind.

Elvis certainly knew good music, after having this burger, I can't question his appetite.

This was also a great way to celebrate the Pork Drunk blog's two year Anniversary!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the two year anniversary! I love nut butters on burgers. It's so good and such an experience that everyone needs to try at least once in their life.

    And I can't believe you winterize your grill! My grill is what keeps me sane during the winter doldrums. :)