Gingered-Beef Burgers

It may be fall, the leaves may be changing colours, and the air may have a cool crisp to it, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to barbecue.  Ok ok, it’s NEVER too late to barbecue.  And sometimes you just crave a burger.  We were supposed to have leftovers the other night, and I was just feeling blah, so I texted my husband asking if we could go out to eat (even though we were planning to go out to eat the next night with friends).  Instead, he suggested grilling burgers, since we had ground beef in the freezer.  I immediately jumped onto my “beef dishes” Pinterest board to find the perfect burger recipe (I’m obsessive, I know).  This gingered beef burger from The Nest was the winner.

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These burgers were SO GOOD.  Seriously.  First of all, I love ginger.  It has this amazing aromatic smell and flavour, and I personally don’t think anything else compares adequately to it.  Second of all, I’ve had a bottle of mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine) foreverrrrr, just waiting to be used (well, used more, I should say).  Third of all, this was my first time buying, cooking with, and eating a jicama!  If you’re reading this and thinking, “jica-what??”, trust me, you aren’t alone.  My friend Alysha informed me that everyone in Seattle, WA. knows what a jicama is, but that’s Seattle for ya (green, crunchy, hipster, vegan, gluten-free, etc. etc.).  Us upstate New Yorkers are apparently not as cultured. 😉

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I really should be saving this post for Tuesday, to continue with the “Test-It Tuesday” theme, but I don’t want to wait 3 more days to post it!  So let’s call this…oh man…I don’t even know.  I just sat here at the computer for at least 5 minutes trying to find an “s” word to link to Saturday, regarding cooking with a new ingredient.  In any case, I won’t bore you with the details of everything jicama-related, as you can click the link above to go to the Wikipedia page, but I must admit that I get so easily fascinated with new foods!  What I will tell you are some things you won’t be able to find on that website.

  1. I was trying to figure out what it smelled like.  To me, it was a cross between dirt, potato, and pumpkin.
  2. I made my husband smell it, and he said it smelled like mushrooms.  And dirt.
  3. It was a great crunchy taste, kind of like eating one big water chestnut.

Getting back to the actual burger, have I mentioned how good it was?  Seriously.  Grilled vegetables marinated in soy sauce, hamburger patties marinated with soy sauce and freshly chopped ginger…do I even need to say more?  Make this soon, I promise it will be worth it!!

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Gingered-Beef Burgers

serves 4

Ingredients:
-1 jicama
-1 large sweet onion
-2tbsp mirin
-2tbsp soy sauce
-1lb lean ground beef
-4tsp very finely chopped ginger
-1/4 cup White Zinfandel (I used white cooking wine)
-1tbsp soy sauce
-2tsp mirin
-1 small shake of garlic salt
-1/2tsp freshly ground black pepper
-Whole wheat hamburger buns

Directions:
-Peel and slice onion and jicama, place in a bowl, and then add the mirin and soy sauce. Rotate/flip them around so that they get fully marinated.
-To make the patties, combine the beef, ginger, White Zinfandel/cooking wine, soy sauce, mirin, garlic salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well, then divide into four equal-sized patties.
-When the grill is medium-hot, place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes. Grill the jicama and onion slices until lightly browned, about 5 minutes on each side (I recommend keeping the jicama around the outer edge of the grill – if you have it directly over the coals, it will burn).
-Toast the buns during the last few minutes of cooking.
-To assemble the burgers, place a slice of jicama on the bottom bun, then the patty, then onion (and cheese, if you’d like), then the top bun.

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