If you know me or have been following along, you know that I won TGP’s search for Canada’s Best Burger back in March; and with that win, I received a spot in the Canadian Food Championships, Burger Category, in July in Edmonton! I chose my husband as my assistant (truthfully it was the other way around…), and I’m about to share with you the details of the amazing opportunity as well as share the burger we created – the smoky cheese burger. The burger that won the TGP contest was the 10 Finger Burger, which you can find the recipe here.
We wanted to keep the same simple burger creation, but opted out of stuffing our burger for the competition. When we were testing with stuffed burgers, it was really hard to keep the stuffing in the burger when we cut it. When at home, we are totally fine with that! During a competition, when presentation is judged, we needed a burger that we could be confident was going to stick together.
After testing a few variations, we decided that ground beef chuck and ground pork mixture produced the most flavourful and juicy burger. And an addition of smoked sea salt, Mapuche smoked chiles and topping of applewood smoked cheddar gave the burger a great smoky tone, hence calling it a smoky cheese burger.
Smoky Cheese Burger
Without further ado, here is the smoky cheese burger recipe from the competition:
Smoky Cheese Burger
- 0.75 lbs ground beef chuck
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1/2 small onion diced
- 4 - 6 medium white mushrooms diced
- 1/2 tsp. smoked sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. Mapuche smoked chiles
- 1/2 tsp. ground garlic
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. ground rosemary
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg beaten
- sliced applewood smoked cheddar
- Hamburger buns
- Favourite condiments and toppings
Melt the butter in a small frying pan. Add the onion and mushroom and sauté over medium heat until soft and starting to brown, about 10 mins. Set aside and let cool completely.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, including cooled onion and mushroom and onion mix. Mix using your hands until well combined, but don't over do it. Form mixture into 4 giant patties, or 6 - 8 smaller one.
Fire up your grill and once heated, grill the patties, flipping once or twice only, until juices run clear, about 8-10 minutes each side.
Once cooked, add slices of the cheese and close the barbecue lid for about 3-4 minutes, until cheese melts.
Serve on your favourite buns, dressed with your favourite toppings and condiments.
If you don't have or can't find the Mapuche chiles, use smoked paprika (1/4 tsp).
And it wouldn’t be Chews and Brews if I didn’t have some mention of beer here, and it’s fitting since beers and burgers really do pair great together! With this burger pairing it with a hoppy beer like an IPA is perfect. I find that the hoppiness of an IPA cuts through the richness of the meat and contrasts with the applewood smoked cheddar like nothing else. Try Goose Island’s Endless IPA!
Goose Island, Endless IPA, 5.0% alc/vol.; IBU 35
A – honey yellow, clear, white bubbly foam that stick around for a while
S – citrus, grapefruit peel, citrus hops
T – citrus, bready, some light lingering bitter citrus hops
M – clean, medium carbonation, fizzy, crisp and refreshing
O – very great lower alcohol IPA that is perfect for summer barbeques
After the competition was over (which if you weren’t aware, we didn’t win), we enjoyed watching the other contestants compete in the other categories. There really was an incredible amount of talent at the venue! Check out the video and photos below from TGP’s Facebook.
A huge thank-you goes out to all my family and friends that supported us by coming to the event to cheer us on, or sending us text messages, Facebook messages and phone calls! And of course thank-you to TGP for selecting my burger and sending me to this fantastic event! We had so much fun and will remember the experience and opportunity forever! I am sure I am forgetting to thank someone, so thank-you to all! 🙂