Monday, June 30, 2014

Animal-Style Cheeseburger

Have you ever been to In-N-Out burger? They are a west coast thing. Well, not the entire west coast, but you can find them in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Texas. When I was living in California, I ate a TON of In-N-Out burger. My best friend and I pretty much ate there at least once a week, and then it became habit to stop at In-N-Out on every ski trip. Luckily, I was young and had a high metabolism! 

The animal-style burger isn't on the menu though. It was one of their "secret" options. I don't think it is so secret anymore, but, oh my, was it delicious. A mustard-coated beef patty cooked on the griddle (not grilled!), topped with extra pickles, lettuce, tomato, cheese, special sauce, and caramelized onions. Heaven, I tell you! 

Since I am not lucky enough to live next to one of these fine establishments, I had to recreate the burger. The sauce and onions can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator if you need a quick weeknight meal. (Why do caramelized onions have to take so long?) Just be sure to cook everything on a griddle. Need to keep it real! :)

Animal-Style Cheeseburger
Servings: 4

Caramelized onions:
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 yellow onions (preferably Vidalia), finely chopped

Special sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise (regular or light)
2 tbsp. ketchup
1 tbsp. sweet pickle relish
1/2 tsp. white vinegar

1 lb. ground beef (80% fat)
Salt and pepper
4 tsp. yellow mustard
4 slices American cheese

Hamburger buns
Sliced dill pickles
Sliced tomato
Shredded lettuce

To prepare the caramelized onions, heat the oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and spread into an even layer. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the onions have browned and caramelized. Season with salt. 

To prepare the sauce, mix the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, and vinegar together in a small bowl. 

To prepare the burgers, heat a griddle over medium-high heat. Toast the buns on the griddle slightly and set aside. Form the beef into 4 thin patties. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place on the griddle. Spread ~1 tsp. of mustard on top of each patty. Flip and cook until the desired doneness, topping with cheese in the last minute. 

To assemble the burgers, add a layer of special sauce on the bottom half of the bun. Then add pickles, a slice of tomato, lettuce, a burger patty, and caramelized onions.

Source: adapted from Food Network

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