Of course, we love booze WITH our food: steak with wine, Asian cuisine with beer and cheetos with Jaegermeister. And we like to cook with booze: coq au vin, vodka sauce, beer can chicken.
But what about making your food taste like a cocktail? And then serving a cocktail with it? This might be the most meta dish the Slutty Kitchen has ever created. Behold:
Anyhoo, my favorite thing about this burger is that it harkens back to the days when men were men and burgers were unapologetically corn-fed, fatty and oozing with slutty deliciousness. Nowadays, what usually passes for burgers are grass-fed hockey pucks on some bullshit bun with some kale shoved in there. And of course on the other end of the spectrum, you have stunt burgers, where the makers have deep-fried and then rolled them in rainbow sprinkles.
I came up with this recipe a couple of years ago when I was in the thick of the whole entering-recipe-contests thing, and submitted it to a very well-known contest held by a winery famous for its extremely shitty pink wine. That year, the organizers picked some very pedestrian burgers and I vowed that these would still see the light of day at some point. I still think they're money.
Whiskey-Soaked Manhattan Cocktail Burgers with Cherry-Vermouth Gastrique
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (real, corn-fed 20% fat)
1/4 cup whiskey, plus more for sipping while you cook (Manhattan recipe below)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 3/4 cups Luxardo cherries, divided
1/2 cup sweet vermouth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 brioche buns, split and toasted
12 large romaine lettuce leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
12 dashes cocktail bitters
12 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Preheat grill to high heat. In a medium bowl, mix together the beef, whiskey, salt and pepper to taste. Coarsely chop 3/4 cup of the maraschino cherries and mix into the meat. Form into 6 patties and refrigerate until ready to cook.
In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 1 cup of cherries with the vermouth, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Place bottom brioche buns on a serving platter with tops nearby and add equal amounts of romaine lettuce to each bottom bun. Grill patties for 3 1/2 minutes per side.
Top lettuce with a beef patty, and add 2 dashes of cocktail bitters to each. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the cherry gastrique onto each patty, then follow with 2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese on each patty. Add top buns and serve with Manhattans:
2 ounces whiskey
1 ounce vermouth
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Add the ice, whiskey, vermouth and bitters to a cocktail shaker. Shake. Strain the liquid into a glass. If you like it super cold, add an ice cube or two. Garnish with a couple cherries. Start making another Manhattan while you drink this one.