My friends and I like to get together every once in a while and have food-themed parties. So far, we’ve made tamales, had a rib making competition, and this last weekend we threw a cheeseburger competition! There were 5 of us in the competition this time and we all brought our A-game to the (kitchen) table. ALL of the burgers were so amazing! I don’t think I ever ate this much beef in one day in my life.
Food parties are the best kind of parties, if you ask me. It provides a reason for everyone to get together, have a great time, and there is usually a ton of tasting and eating involved. My kind of party.
So here is my burger:
Guess who won the competition? Yup, my burger sure did! Well, technically I tied for first. There were 4 judges and each of them picked their #1 and #2 burger. It ended up with an even score. I did win the top score for appearance (well I’m a food blogger after all).
Here are some of the competing burgers:
This is the other winning burger- made by Sean with blue cheese and homemade aioli. So good. Everyone called this one, “The MAN burger” because it was just meat, cheese and a bun. For the simple folk. I had seconds.
This was the second place winner- made by my friend Greg. He was the one I was most focused on beating at this competition. You see, he’s been going to culinary school and he can whip up some crazy good food that puts most of my recipes to shame. He made his buns from scratch (tasted amazing) and he ground his own beef and bacon to make his burgers. I HAD to beat this guy, just because! haha!
Above is the plate of competing burgers the judges had to eat (and/or share, that’s a lot of meat!) My friend Matt made burgers with Hawaiian bread as his buns. It’s a cool concept, but a little sweet for my taste. The flavor of the meat was one of my favorites though.
Here are the burger- judges in action:
I started prepping for this burger competition a week beforehand. You see, I’m more of a turkey burger kind of gal and I haven’t really spent too much time preparing beef. I had to get some practice in before I competed against a bunch of BBQ-master dudes. So I bought a pound of beef and divided it into 3 sections and made each one different.
One alternative burger I made at home that turned out pretty good was my chipotle burger. I added roasted Anaheim peppers, diced red onions, 4 chopped up chipotle peppers, along with some of its sauce, chopped cilantro, ground pepper, an egg and some bread crumbs. I topped it with cheddar cheese, grilled onions, bacon, cilantro, and more chipotle sauce. It was pretty good, I recommend it if you like a spicy kind of burger.
But the winning burger recipe is what matters here! The meat was so flavorful and with all of the toppings, you just may as well be in Burger Heaven. Here is the recipe:
Tessa’s Winning Burger
For the meat:
- 1 pound of Angus ground beef
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon of coriander
- 1 tablespoon of cumin
- A generous amount of fresh ground pepper
- A couple dashes of garlic powder
- 1 small egg
- About 1/4 cup bread crumbs
For the toppings:
- Cheddar cheese
- Bacon (I’m not a huge fan, but I knew the boys would like it)
- Roasted Anaheim pepper
- Chipotle sauce
- I used rosemary ciabatta bread for the bun
Start by getting all of the burger ingredients together and mush them together with your hands in a large bowl.
Shape the meat into your desired size patties. I made sliders here, they are way more fun.
Prep your toppings: cook your bacon, slice the onions, roast the Anaheim pepper and slice it into burger-sized strips, and cut the cheese 😛
When you are ready to grill, place the meat over the fire and don’t touch it until it’s all the way ready to be flipped. The more you move it around, the more juices come out.
When your burgers are almost cooked, place the bread on the grill to get it nice and toasted.
They are done when you poke the middle of the burger and it feels firm. Total cooking time should be about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size. Once done, place the cheese on top and leave the patties on the grill for about 2 more minutes, just to melt the cheese.
Assemble the burgers! I put spinach on the bottom, then the meat, bacon, onion, pepper, and on the top bun, chipotle sauce and avocado.
Some comments I got about my burger: They said the bread was a little too thick and with all of the toppings, it made it a little harder to eat. I liked it that way, but if you prefer a different option, stick with the regular soft buns.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Have you ever done food-themed parties? What was your experience like? Stay tuned for our next competition- I think it’s going to be a chili cook-off!