Friday, September 16, 2011

Cherry Burgers with Cherry Ketchup

This is another recipe from that I waited too long to make.  I had bought, pitted and frozen a bunch of cherries at the beginning of the summer but I wasn't ready to make these until last night.  The cherries added some moisture to the burgers and gave the meat a delicate flavor of cherry.  After making them once, I would recommend putting the dried cherries into your food processor to chop them.  I had a hard time trying to chop them by hand.  It was surprising to me that the recipe did not require any egg but the burgers did not fall apart even without it.  I did slightly change the recipe.  I used Panko breadcrumbs instead of the whole wheat breadcrumbs called for in the recipe because I had a box in my pantry.

I think you will really like the cherry ketchup.  I don't know about you but I had never thought about ketchup as anything but the good old tomato ketchup that is available at the grocery store.  This cherry ketchup has a really different flavor.  There is plenty left over to try with other things.  I served the burgers with sweet potato waffle fries.

Cherry Burgers

  • 12 ounces lean ground beef

  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup coarse dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs, (or Panko breadcrumbs)

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 4 whole-wheat English muffins, split

  • 4 lettuce leaves

  • 1/4 cup Cherry Ketchup, (recipe follows)

  • Preparation
    1. Preheat grill to medium (see Broiler Variation).
    2. Place beef in a large bowl and gently mix in cherries, breadcrumbs, garlic, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper until combined. Divide into 4 equal portions and form into 1/2-inch-thick patties. Make a slight impression in the center of each. (This is so the patties cook evenly and don’t puff up.)
    3. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the patties until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160°F, 5 to 6 minutes per side.
    4. Toast English muffins. Drain the onions. Assemble the burgers on the English muffins with onion slices, lettuce and about 1 tablespoon Cherry Ketchup each. Broiler variation: Coat a broiler pan with cooking spray. Broil patties 3 to 4 inches from the heat source until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160°F, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

    Cherry Ketchup
    • 1/2 cup dried cherries
    • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    Combine pitted cherries, dried cherries, vinegar, water, garlic, sugar, ginger, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon and cayenne in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly. Transfer to a blender. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel. Holding lid securely in place, blend until smooth. (Use caution when blending hot liquids.) Transfer the ketchup to a small bowl.

    Tips & Notes
    • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.