Lola Burger

Anyone familiar with television knows Michael Symon. Symon is the Food Network’s Iron Chef. Recently, his beef patty topped with his own pastrami, Swiss cheese and coleslaw — all layered on a brioche bun — was the biggest hit at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s annual Burger Bash challenge.

Symon is the latest celebrity chef to take part in The Associated Press’ “20 Burgers of Summer” series. His contribution is called the Lola burger, a supermoist burger made from three grinds of beef and topped with pickled red onions, cheddar cheese and a spicy ketchup — all inside a toasted English muffin.

Syman told AP Food Editor J.M. Hirsch that he spent spent three years perfecting the right ratio of the different cuts of meat — brisket, cheek and sirloin — as well as settling on a cooking method. And that was beyond finding the right bun for the burger. Today, the burger is one of his signature dishes at his Cleveland restaurant, Lola.

To me, the burger looks mighty tasty, especially its onion, cheese and spicy ketchup toppings. I can hardly wait to try it.

Lola Burger
½ pound ground beef brisket
½ pound ground beef cheek
½ pound ground sirloin
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
4 thin slices cheddar cheese
4 English muffins, toasted
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
Pickled red onion (recipe follows)
4 eggs, cooked over-easy
8 slices bacon, cooked until crispy
Spicy ketchup (recipe follows)
In a medium bowl, combine the brisket, beef cheek and sirloin. Divide the meat into quarters and form into patties. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a grill to medium-high.
Place the burgers on the grill and cook for 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. After flipping, top each burger with a slice of cheese.
Place each burger on a muffin half and top with cucumber slices, pickled red onions, an egg, 2 slices of bacon and spicy ketchup.
Note: If you have trouble finding beef cheek, substitute an equal amount of ground sirloin.
Yield: Serve 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 864 calories, 423 calories from fat, 49 percent of calories from fat, 47 grams fat (18 grams saturated, no trans), 370 milligrams cholesterol, 52 grams carbohydrates, 60 grams protein, 4 grams fiber, 1,365 milligrams sodium.
Spicy Ketchup
2 tablespoons minced yellow onion, minced
1 large clove garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
3 cayenne peppers, minced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
6-ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup water
In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the onions, garlic and oil. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until just beginning to color.
Add the brown sugar, cumin seeds and cinnamon stick. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Add both peppers, the tomato paste and vinegar. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the water and return to a simmer.
Pour through a mesh strainer to remove any solids. Set aside to cool.
Yield: 1 cup.
Pickled Red Onions
½ cup water
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, coriander, peppercorns, red pepper flakes and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Arrange the sliced onions in a medium bowl. Pour the liquid through a mesh strainer and into the bowl of onions, discarding the solids in the strainer.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 48 hours or (for best results) up to 2 weeks.
Makes ½ cup pickles.

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