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Author Notes: The Original Painted Doll was the name of a barbecue joint in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago back in my post-college years. They turned out some delicious ribs and such, but their piece de resistance was what they called a “Barbecue Burger.” It was huge – almost impossible to get your mouth around – and mysteriously delicious. We could never quite figure out what all was in it. But we knew it wasn’t all beef, if any. Years went by, the Original Painted Doll moved way south, too far to go for a burger, but the flavors have continued to haunt me. So a couple of years ago, I set out to recreate the burger. This is what I came up with. It comes pretty darn close, I must say. —ChefJune
Makes 4 large burgers
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Break up the bay leaves into small pieces. Process them in a spice grinder until they are all ground up. Add the sea salt and cumin seeds and process until ground fine. Add all the peppers and the nutmeg and blend well in a shaker jar.
- You will use two teaspoons of this mixture in your burgers.
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/2 pound 85% lean ground beef
- 2 teaspoons seasoning blend
- Olive oil for the cooking pan
- A couple of tablespoons of your best barbecue sauce
- Heat oven to 350 degrees, F.
- Heat a small skillet and add the olive oil. Sauté the onion and celery until they are soft and fragrant. Remove from heat and cool.
- Using your hands, mix the meat, vegetables and seasoning together. Divide the mixture into four patties. Actually, these will be more like balls – very thick!
- Heat a cast iron skillet or other heavy sauté pan. When it’s very hot, put a dab of butter in the pan to keep the burgers from sticking. Sear the burgers on both sides, then coat them with the barbecue sauce and put into the preheated oven to finish cooking through for about 12 minutes.
- Allow the burgers to rest for about 8 minutes before serving on burger buns (homemade if you can). Serve with additional barbecue sauce.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Burger Recipe