The Gemini Burger/Stone Brewing Ghost Hammer/Ruby the Hatchet “Planetary Space Child”
Not that anyone has ever asked to see how our brain works when it comes to some of our pairings, but we’re going to tell you anyway. There are some bands that we dig so much that we feel like we have to pay homage to them by naming one our creations after either the band or one of their songs (see our extensive line of Kyuss-themed burgers). When the new Ruby the Hatchet album came out in August we went directly to the track listing to figure what we were naming the burger we were going to create to pair up with the album. Our eyes landed on “Gemini”. The “Gemini Burger”, now that has a nice ring to it. Of course, with everything under the sun having been invented already, or so it seems, we took to Google to see if the Gemini burger already exists. Lo and behold it does, from a gastropub right here in Chicago no less. So we took their basics (jack cheese, lettuce, onion, pancetta and aioli) and put our own spin on it with a couple slices of paper jack melted on top, grilled onions, crispy pancetta, marinated tomatoes, shredded lettuce and a quick horseradish ranch mayo slathered on top of a brioche bun. You know we’re doing an IPA with this, right? We went back to Stone Brewing for said IPA with their delicious Ghost Hammer. Of course for the tunes, as we eluded, we cranked up “Planetary Space Child”, the new release from the legendary Ruby the Hatchet.
The Gemini Burger – Even with all the toppings that get piled high on these burgers, none of them are all that difficult or time consuming and most of them can be done grill-side. Before we go outside though, let’s get our tomatoes marinating by taking slices of garden tomatoes and seasoning them with olive oil, a splash of balsamic and a liberal dusting of Not So Gentle Butcher’s Rub (or salt, pepper and garlic). Gentle toss to combine and stick in the fridge.
Now we can move ourselves outside. We’ll start with the pancetta, which bought sliced from the deli versus the more popularly sold diced. In a hot, grill-safe pan we throw the slices down and cook until crisp on both sides, about 3-4 minutes and remove from heat.
Next up are the onions. We thinly shave 1 sweet onion then toss it into the same pan the pancetta cooked in utilizing that delicious pancetta oil left over in the pan. We want these fairly soft and cooked down, so we’ll let them go for about 15-20 minutes stirring constantly.
How we can move on to the burgers. We’re using an 85/15 local grass-fed blend which is a little leaner than what we usually use, but the beef looked great so we were eager to give it a whirl. We form them into 1/3 pound patties and season with our Not So Gentle Butcher’s Rub.
The patties go directly over the hottest part of the grill. These only need 3 minutes per side so they get a nice char on them then we can scoot them over to the cool side of the grill to apply a couple slices of jalapeño chihuahua cheese to them. We cover the grill to melt the cheese for only a minute of so.
In that same pan we cooked the pancetta and onions in, we add a pat of butter and griddle up the brioche buns. Once toasted, the cheesy burgers go right on top.
Now we begin the topping process starting with the crisp pancetta going right on top.
On the top bun we whip up a quick aioli made up of 3 parts mayo, 1 part each of ranch and horseradish and fresh cracked black pepper which gets spread across the top.
A heaping spoon of the grilled onions and a couple slices of the marinated tomatoes go right on top of the aioli.
The final addition is some freshly shredded lettuce and this thing is ready to be devoured. Once devoured, we could confidently say this was one of the best burgers we’ve made.
Stone Brewing Ghost Hammer – Back to back Stone Brewing features here at Stoner Rock BBQ, there are definitely worse things in the world. Tonight we go back to cans, and a cool one at that, with the monochromatic Ghost Hammer IPA. Stone and IPAs are kind of synonymous and Ghost Hammer is no different. The beer pours cloudy and yellow with a billowy, foamy head resting on top. The aroma is full of pine needles and some citrus peel. On the flavor side, it’s a juicy, pretty full bodied IPA with the taste and viscosity of a mango purée offset by a hearty malty backbone and all tied together with mouth-tingling bitter finish. It’s a tasty beer and just what we love to pair up with our monster burgers.
Ruby the Hatchet “Space Planetary Child” – As we mentioned in our intro, we absolutely love this Philadelphia, PA band. Their last release, “Valley of the Snake” is firmly secured on our favorite all time albums list. You can imagine the excitement then leading up to the latest release, “Space Planetary Child”. As you can also imagine, the album does not disappoint. The disc starts off with the title track and a classic 70s groggy rock instrumental intro along the lines of Boston’s “Foreplay/Longtime”, in this case though when the riff and vocals come in it’s like a wall of heavy yet airy doom thanks to the crushing organ use. “Killer” was the band’s teaser track a couple of months prior to the full record release and they couldn’t have picked a better one. Full of infectious groove, amazing vocals and a killer riff, it’s the best track on the album and one we’ve cranked up a lot since. “Pagan Ritual” is as atmospheric as it is dark for the most of the song until the jazzy jam that closes out the song comes in. “The Fool” is a huge tune with orchestration that totally engulfs the listener in sonic bliss. Things stay in the darker realm on “Symphony of the Night” this time in retro psychedelic fashion as if the souls of the Mamas and the Papas were taken over by Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats. The burger’s namesake song, “Gemini” is a classic rocker and another of the album’s top tracks. With a riff that combines “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers” with “Stormtroopin” it’s a tune you crank up loud on the open road with the windows down. The album ends with “Lightening Strikes Again”, a low and slow blues soaked number that is hauntingly beautiful and slowly builds up to an all out jam to close things out on yet another incredible release by this amazing band.