Chef Hubert Keller Exclusive: The World's Best Burger

by ModernMom Staff

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ModernMom got the chance to chat with world-famous chef  Hubert Keller. Hubert is the known for his restaurant Fleur de Lys in San Francisco and Las Vegas and his gourmet Burger Bar, in Las Vegas, St. Louis, and San Francisco. Below, he shares some fantastic recipes to try out this summer. Seriously, our mouths are watering. Try out the beer burger and let us know what you think!

Can you share the recipe for your famous burger with us?

Absolutely, so the new recipe really got influenced by summer and friends and beer, so I really had to come up with a great burger and in order to make it great and a serious burger I was digging a little bit into the history of the burger. And I think by looking up where the burger really comes from - believe it or not - the burger is over 100 years old and actually was served for the first time in St Louis during the world fair in 1904 so that was very exciting in those days. But also, coincidentally, Budweiser was also born in St Louis and at that time I felt like here is a natural pairing that goes way down to the roots. So the recipe I came up with was based on beer and craftsmanship and also the history behind it. In order to put all those flavors we think of together I thought of not only drinking a beer with the burger but cooking it with the burger.

Budweiser Backyard Burger

Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 pounds Coarsely ground chuck, chilled
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 bunch Fresh spinach, stemmed
4 Onion buns or ciabatta buns
4 ounces Crumbled blue cheese at room temperature
8 tablespoons Caramelized Budweiser shallot jam (see recipe below)
4 Leaves of butter lettuce
1 Large ripe tomato, cut into 4 thick slices
8 slices Crisp apple smoked bacon (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Method:


For the burgers, shape the meat into 4 evenly-sized patties about 1 inch thick. Handle lightly to keep the texture light and juicy. The burgers can be shaped and refrigerated, covered, for several hours.
When ready to cook, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat until very hot or build a medium-hot fire in a barbecue. Generously season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper.

Cook the burgers in the skillet, turning once or twice, 7 to 10 minutes for medium-rare. Do not press down on the patties. With a large spoon, baste the burgers several times with the fat in the pan. (You can also preheat the oven to 450? F and cook the burgers on top of the stove until they are brown on both sides, and then finish them in the oven.) To grill the burgers, oil the grate, arrange the patties on it, and cover. Cook as above.

While the burgers are searing, heat up one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over high heat, and cook the spinach stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the leaves are wilted but bright green about 3 minutes. Keep warm.

Toast the buns in a toaster oven or on the outer perimeter of the grill rack until golden brown
For the last minute of cooking, display the blue cheese over each burger to melt lightly. Then top the cheese with the warmed up shallot jam. Top the shallots with the spinach. Then remove to a warm platter, keep warm, and let rest several minutes before serving

To assemble the burgers, divide the butter lettuce leaves between the buns and top with the tomatoes. Add the burgers and the bacon on top of each. Cover with the bun tops. Serve immediately with remaining shallot jam.

As a personal preference, serve the burgers with sweet potato fries!

    
CARAMELIZED BEER SHALLOT JAM    

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons Olive oil
2 cups Shallots, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoon Fresh thyme, finely chopped
½ cup Budweiser
¼ cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Aged balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Method:


In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and heat until hot. Add the shallots, stir, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are light gold and have thoroughly melted. Deglaze with the beer and add the thyme. Stir often towards the end of cooking to make sure the shallots do not stick and all the beer is reduced to almost dry. Set aside.

While the shallots are cooking, in a small saucepan, melt the sugar with about 1 tablespoon water over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cook at a boil, uncovered and without stirring, until the sugar caramelizes to a medium amber color, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vinegar. The mixture will foam and spit, so stand back to avoid being spattered. Return the pan to low heat, and stir until the caramel has melted.

Scrape the shallots into the caramel and stir well. Remove to a bowl, cover, and set aside to cool. Taste for seasoning, and adjust with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate the jam in a covered container for several days or longer. It may also be frozen. Bring to room temperature before using.


How did you originally create your Budweiser Backyard Burger?

So the way I came up with that recipe was originally something at the Burger Bar which is my restaurant in Las Vegas, St Louis, and San Francisco. Very often when I sit there - and you know the concept of the Burger Bar is building your own - so very often I come up with things that I’m jut trying a bit of that, a bit of spinach, a bit of blue cheese, and then by basically practicing and using several ideas I just came up with a combination I really felt is fairly simple but at the same time - I mean blue cheese coming from France, when we talk about Roquefort cheese like the real, authentic blue cheese and a steak, that goes together for hundreds of years right, that’s paired. So I think it goes very well, with a good burger and a great piece of blue cheese has to work. And of course including a little bit of spinach which is different, right? Spinach you would use on a filet mignon or use it on something like that so I think why not with burger, right, because actually it’s beef. So combining spinach and the caramelized shallot jam that is definitely a must and a plus. So when you add all of this together I knew it was a great burger.

Any tips for wowing our men by grilling the perfect non-burnt burger?

Some grilling tips I think when it comes to really grilling burgers, I think first of all you cant put twelve burgers and load your grill and just walk away and drink your beer at that moment, you better drink the beer when you watch the burgers, right? So that’s probably the first thing: you have to be close to the burgers. Make sure that grill is really hot, so that means of course the danger of burning is higher but if you watch it, it’s not a problem. You just put these burgers down, do NOT oil the burgers too much. Just give them the thinnest coat of oil so they don’t stick and when the grill is really hot for sure it will not stick, that’s going to be very important. As soon as you put too much oil on it the oil drips and sets the whole grill on fire and then basically you’re torching your burgers, right? So that’s one trick and the other thing is basically keeping an eye on it if you have to lower it a little bit very quickly. But most of all: that it doesn’t stick, make sure you put it on a hot grill, don’t be afraid that the heat is too low. 


What are some perfect sides to go with this burger?

When it comes to the sides of course, with the Big Time Burger - when I created the burger I was thinking or course, what really could work really well with it? And what does are some sweet potato fries which is a great combination. Then I must say, I’m French from east part of France, Alsace, a little part of France that is known for creating great beer and of course you can imagine we do cook a lot with beer over there! So I remember these onion rings that I used to eat at home, that grandma used to cook at home. She made us onion rings in beer batter and that stuff was so good. So I thought, I have to include that in the burger too. So imagine when you have that sweet potato fries and then you have those really beer-battered onion rings in it; I think perfect combination for the Big Time Burger.

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