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May 24, 2012

Lola Burger

I have seen this burger around the Internet many of times, but I finally got around to making it. It was a lot of work, and I don't know if it turned out good enough to merit all the work, but I definitely liked the idea of a fried egg on my burger. I think you could probably buy the ketchup (maybe go with a fancy ketchup, not just Heinz) and purchase some pickled onions. If you don't keep some of the spics on hand normally, they can start getting expensive if you have to purchase them all just for this recipe.

I'll post for you the original recipe, because I had to make quite a few substitutions and reductions. So, I halved the ketchup recipe, and used jalapeƱos instead of all the chiles. That's probably why the ketchup didn't seem to have the right flavor. It also probably would have been tasty with just some ketchup mixed with some Sriracha. The pickled onions could be done ahead of time, but I don't really think about these things ahead of time, so I did them last minute, and they didn't have time to sit in their pickling juice for long.

Another problem I had, was that the only dill pickles we had, tasted kind of funky. I seem to have a problem finding a brand of pickles that tastes just like I expect it should. Let me know if you have a favorite store-bought pickle, because I just can't find the right one. My last problem was that the eggs had to cook longer than I wanted in order to prep the burger, so they weren't runny like I wanted.

Despite all these problems, it tasted pretty good! Definitely a very messy burger, but I could tell where this burger would have been if everything was the way I wanted it to be.

Here's the recipe adapted from Michael Symon


8 slices bacon
24 ounces ground beef, 75 percent lean* (I just used some ground chuck, for convenience)
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
4 thin slices Cheddar
4 English muffins, split
4 large eggs
1 dill pickle, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Pickled Red Onions, recipe follows
4 teaspoons Spicy Ketchup, recipe follows

Pickled Red Onions:
2 pounds red onions, sliced
White wine vinegar
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
4 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves

Spicy Ketchup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
Kosher salt
5 Fresno chiles, seeded and minced
1 ancho chile, seeded and minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 cups water

1. Build a medium-hot fire in your grill or preheat a stovetop grill pan.

2. Cook the bacon in a saute pan over medium-high heat, turning once, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon to paper towels to drain. Reserve the bacon fat in the pan.

3. Form the ground beef into 4 patties, each about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Season the patties with salt and cracked black pepper, to taste. Put the burgers on the grill or in the grill pan and cook for 3 minutes. Flip and top each burger with a slice of cheese. Grill for 3 minutes for medium- rare. Remove them to a plate. Add the English muffins to the grill or grill pan and toast for 1 minute.

4. Cook the eggs sunny side up in the bacon fat while the burgers rest.

5. Build the burgers by sandwiching them between the muffin halves along with pickle slices, red onion, bacon, an egg, and some spicy ketchup.

1. Pack the onions in 2 (1-quart) jars and cover with enough water to come within 1/2-inch of the rim. Pour the water out into a measuring cup. Note the volume, pour off half the water, and replace it with vinegar. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons salt for every 3 cups of liquid.
Pour the vinegar mixture into a nonreactive saucepan, add the mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil over high heat. Allow the liquid to boil for 2 minutes, and then remove it from the heat.
Pour the hot liquid into the jars to cover the onions and screw on the lids. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

1. In a nonreactive 2-quart saucepan over medium heat add the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, and a large pinch of salt. Saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the Fresno chiles, ancho chile, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, cumin, cinnamon, tomato paste, and vinegar and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of water, bring to a gentle simmer, and cook over low heat for 2 hours.
Remove the ketchup from the heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick. Puree the mixture in a blender and strain through a sieve, pushing down on the any solids. Let cool and pour into a storage container. Cover the container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

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