NEW ORLEANS – Did you know… May is National Burger Month. Celebrate your love for the classic – and not so classic – burgers all month long at two of New Orleans’ favorite restaurants, or make them at home and enjoy with friends and family.
Mid-City New Orleans’ Cajun rustic cookery – Toups’ Meatery – is certain to tantalize all meat-lovers’ appetites during National Burger Month. Crafted by “Top Chef” Fan Favorite alum Chef Isaac Toups, the Toups Burger is made with brisket and pork blend, topped with pickled squash, cheddar, bacon and Creole aioli. Make this delicious burger at home, or head over to the restaurant for the Chef’s Lunch special, which includes one Toups Burger with a side of boudin and beer for just $23 (available during lunch only). Toups’ Meatery is located at 845 North Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans. The restaurant serves lunch from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday–Friday; dinner from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Monday–Sunday, and brunch from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday. Happy Hour is from 3 p.m.- 5 p.m. Monday—Friday. For more information, please call (504) 252-4999 or visit www.toupsmeatery.com.
- 3 ½ pounds beef brisket, trimmed of all fat and finely ground
- ½ pound pork belly (use only the fatty end, not the meaty end), skin removed and finely ground
- Grapeseed oil
- Kosher salt
- Burger seasoning (recipe follows)
- Creole Mustard Aioli (recipe follows)
- 6 large hamburger buns
- 12 ounces aged cheddar cheese, grated
- 12 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and broken in half
› In a large bowl, mix together the cold ground brisket and cold fat by hand, like you would bread dough, folding over three or four times, until just combined. Do not overwork the mixture or you’ll emulsify that fat and make it more like sausage.
› Divide the meat and fat mixture into six ½ pound patties. You want to shape your patties based on the size of your buns—I like the meat to hang over the bun a little bit, so I make a 5-inch patty for a 4-inch bun. Form the mixture into the patties, and press your thumb gently into the center of each. The negative space of your thumbprint will ensure the burger will cook flat, rather than puffed up like a football. Put the patties on a plate, cover, and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, or up to a day.
› When you’re ready to cook, heat a griddle or large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. You want it hot and ready to go. I prefer a pan’s flat surface because a hard sear on 100 percent of the meat makes a better burger; a grill will only get you grill marks. Once the skillet is hot, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, about 1 tablespoon.
› Pull the patties out of the fridge and give them a generous coating of salt and the burger seasoning on each side, about 1. tablespoons of seasoning per patty. You want to form a crust with the seasoning.
› Place the patties in the pan, don’t crowd them. Depending on the size of your griddle or skillet, you might have to cook them in batches. Sear the burgers hard over medium-high heat, 2 minutes on each side. Continue cooking until internal temperature is 130°F for a burger done to medium.
› While burgers are searing, toast your buns. Once the burgers are cooked, transfer them to a wire rack to rest for 1 minute.
› Assemble the burger, building it from the bottom up: Spread the bottom bun with aioli, add the patty, sprinkle with 2 ounces of grated cheddar cheese. On top of that, layer four half-slices of crispy bacon. Top the bacon with one full layer of overlapping pickle. When you look down, you want to see only pickle, not burger peeking through. Crown the whole thing with the aioli smeared top bun. Now that’s a damn burger.
Creole Mustard Aioli:
Makes about 2 cups
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup Creole Mustard
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups neutral vegetable oil, like canola
› In a food processor, combine the egg yolks, both mustards, wine vinegar, and salt. Pulse several times until all ingredients are mixed together. With the motor running, very slowly drizzle in the first ½ cup of oil; once the oil has emulsified, you can pour in the rest. The whole process should take about 30 seconds. A lot of people go too slowly when making mayo, and the oil warms up and the mayo can break on you. Some cooks do this in a mixer with a whisk attachment, but I think that adds too much air. I like a thick mayo, not a light fluffy mayo.
- ¼ cup ground black pepper
- ¼ cup ground Aleppo pepper
- ¼ cup ground arbol chile (or paprika or crushed red pepper flakes)
› Whisk all the spices together in a small bowl. Keep in an airtight container until needed.
Jack Rose, the culinary crown of the Pontchartrain Hotel in the stunning Garden District, serves its wildly popular 1&1 Burger for brunch and dinner. This juicy burger is made with premium ground beef, topped with cheddar cheese curds and house-made hickory sauce served on a buttery brioche bun. Ideal for enjoying any day but especially during National Burger Month, the 1&1 Burger is easy to make at home and sure to satisfy all your burger needs. Jack Rose is located at the Pontchartrain Hotel, 2031 St Charles Ave. in New Orleans. Dinner is served Wednesday–Sunday from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Lunch is served Fridays only from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., and Sunday Brunch is served from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Telephone: (504) 323-1500. www.jackroserestaurant.com
Bayou Bar Burger
Makes: 4 Burgers
- 4 Brioche Buns
- 2 lbs Premium ground beef (made into 8 oz each)
- 8 oz Cheddar Cheese Curd
- ½ C Mayonnaise (Blue Plate recommended)
- 8 oz Hickory Sauce recipe below
- 1 Vidalia Onion, sliced thinly
- 4 T Steen’s Cane Vinegar or equivalent
- 1 head Butter Lettuce, washed and shredded
- 1 Creole Tomato, sliced for sandwiches
- 1 C Sweet & Spicy dill pickle (Mount Olive brand recommended)
- 4 oz Butter, unsalted, cut in cubes
- Ground black pepper
- Using a cast iron griddle, melt four cubes (about 2 Tbsp) of butter. Season the prepared patties with salt and pepper, and place into hot butter.
- Sear the patties until a golden-brown crust forms (about 2 minutes). Flip, and cook to desired doneness.
- In a separate non-stick pan, use the remaining butter to toast the slider buns until golden brown.
- As the burgers finish cooking, place 2 tablespoons of hickory sauce on each burger and top with cheese curd.
- As the cheese starts to soften, toss thinly sliced onion with a pinch of salt and cane vinegar and allow to marinate. Coat the insides of the top and bottom bun with mayonnaise. (*to really melt the cheese place the burgers with sauce and cheese on top under the broiler in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes)
- Assemble the burger starting from the bottom with bun, patty, sliced onion, sliced pickles, tomato slice, shredded lettuce, top bun, and hold together with a toothpick.
Makes: 2 cups
- 1 Yellow Onion, peeled, julienne
- 4 T Canola Oil
- 1½ C Ketchup
- ¾ C Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ C Brown Sugar, unpacked
- 1 T Black Pepper, ground
- ¼ C Worcestershire
- ½ T Chili Flake
- Use the oil to caramelize onions in a sauce pan.
- Once onions are caramelized, combine all other ingredients in saucepan and cook until combined.
- In blender, starting on low speed and gradually increasing, puree all ingredients until smooth.