Grilled Raclette Burger/Sweetwater Hash/Sasquatch “Maneuvers”
It’s been a long time people, a loooong time, since we’ve featured one of our famous burger combos. Admittedly with almost 90 varieties gracing our pages, they don’t just fly off the the tip of the tongue like they used to, so we’ve got to think even further outside the box sometimes. Tonight’s burger is a perfect example. Taking a large cue from the popular Swiss dining tradition, Raclette, we top 1/2 pound pub burgers with a gooey, browned ” cheese omelette”; a mix of Gouda and Emmental cheese that is stuffed with sautéed mushrooms, jalapeños and onions. Placed on pretzel buns with a thin layer of blackberry mustard, it puts a uniquely European spin on the American classic. At the risk of sounding like a broken record for those of you who’ve been with us for a while, of course we’re going hoppy with the beer as we do pretty much every time we grill up burgers. The pairing this evening was the new session IPA Hash from Atlanta’s Sweetwater. You know with this type of grub and beer we’re going to be cranking up something killer for our soundtrack. You can’t do much better than Cali rockers Sasquatch for that and their new album “Maneuvers” is nothing short of speaker-melting rawk and roll.
Grilled Raclette Burger – Let us just start by saying, this recipe was super fun to make. Any time you can dump a massive amount of cheese in a hot pan and watch it crisp on the bottom then fold over so that it’s still gooey in the middle, well that is the epitome of fun in our book. Alas, we are getting ahead of ourselves, we have burgers to make first. We’re going big this evening, so 1/2 lb. 80/20 mix ground chuck gets molded into patties and given a liberal dusting of our (Not So) Gentle Butchers Rub, alternatively you could use salt, pepper and garlic. Throw these down on a scorching hot grill over direct heat.
You know the drill by now, the burgers get 2-3 minutes per side to char up nicely then over to the cool side.
As the burgers are on the cool side finishing their cooking process, we can get on with the star of the show, that gooey cheese patty starting with the veggies. In a grill safe frying pan warm a couple of tablespoons of grapeseed oil then add in a small handful of thinly sliced yellow onion followed by a thinly sliced jalapeño. Saute until soft and slightly browned.
Next up come the baby bella mushrooms that get added to the pan and cooked down until soft.
Remove the veggies from the pan then add in enough freshly shredded Gouda and Emantal cheese to cover the bottom of the pan.
Once the cheese starts to brown on the bottom, place the sautéed veggies on top and fold the cheese over like you would an omelette.
Carefully flip the cheese over to brown the other side.
By this time the burgers should be just about done, place a patty on a pretzel bun and place the cheese omelette on top of the burger.
For the top of the bun we’ll just need to whip up the quick blackberry mustard. In a small bowl combine 2 parts of dijon with 1 part blackberry preserves and add in a splash of beer (we used Fat Tire but any milder brown ale/lager will do). Mix well and spread on the pretzel bun.
All that’s left to do now is close the whole thing up and attempt to eat this gargantuan burger that was the perfect mix of rich beef and cheese cut with the acidity and sweetness of the mustard. It was awesome.
Sweetwater Hash – Ah, Sweetwater Brewing. From the time we first tasted their flagship 420 ale years ago to sampling many of their creations along the way via their always incredible Tackle Box sampler cases to one of their newest additions, the session IPA Hash. It’s been an incredible journey enjoying pretty much everything these guys have put out and tonight was no different. Hash pours a dirty brown color, very hazy and with a large cloud-like head. The aroma is pleasingly bitter and astringent like fresh lemon peel. The flavor is on the other end of the spectrum, coming at your taste buds like a full powered, delicious IPA. The mouthfeel is slightly lighter and obviously the ABV is down there a bit thereby achieving session IPA perfection our book. The pairing couldn’t go wrong either, burgers and hoppy IPAs are a match made in culinary heaven and this was no exception.
Sasquatch “Maneuvers” – California’s Sasquatch have been quiet for a bit, but clearly that’s because they were working on an album that may just be the best in their storied discography. The band’s trademark southern rock groove is in full force on their latest release “Maneuvers”. Toss in some tasty riffs and one of the most killer vocals in the scene courtesy of guitarist/vocalist Keith Gibbs and you’ve got an album that’s already an instant classic. The disc starts out with a track that harkens back to the heyday of heavy classic rock and roll, “Rational Woman” is a groove monster combining Deep Purple’s early metal stylings with the high energy rock and roll of Monster Truck. “More Than You’ll Ever Be” turns up the low end and turns down the tuning creating a swampy, mid-paced headbanging doom track that also has a good dose of Cali swagger. Continuing that same path is “Destroyer” but delivered in a more southern-fried fashion reminding us of Alabama Thunderpussy a little bit. “Bringing Me Down” has some elements of 90s grunge sprinkled in being both dark and anthemic at the same time. The blues are in full effect to kickstart ‘Just Couldn’t Stand the Weather”, the guitar is fuzzier, but you can’t deny the bluesy-ness that drips from the speakers, there is also a degree of soulfulness in the vocals that manages be heavy and catchy at the same time. “Drown All The Evidence” is a good time southern rock tune custom made for summer despite the darker song title. Speaking of a good time tune, “Anyway” starts off with one of those riffs that just puts you in an instantly good place, like Journey’s “Stone in Love” or Extreme’s “Am I Ever Gonna Change” (We know, you didn’t think you’d ever see an Extreme reference here, right?) It’s a fun tune to crank up. The album ends with “Window Pain” a tune that introduces the organ front and center going from “Riders on the Storm”-like tickling of the ivories to full on Spooky Tooth-esque keyboard pounding. It’s 6 minutes of decompression from the barnburner tracks that came before it, it’s a killer loose jam complete with some scorching guitar work that closes out a perfect album perfectly.