Kuma’s Plague Bringer Burger/Surly Brewing Furious/Mountainwolf “Absinthe Wolf”
It’s been quite awhile since we’ve paid homage to one of our favorite burger joints, Kumas Corner, so we do so tonight by recreating their Plague Bringer burger eponymously named after the band but also, in our opinion, for what this burger will do to your breath with it’s combination of fresh garlic and roasted garlic mayo. There is so much more to this beast of a burger though, 1/2 pound of grass fed beef that gets topped with pepper jack cheese, fresh crushed garlic, sliced fresh jalapeño, homemade tortilla strips, hot sauce and roasted garlic mayo on a squishy yet dense pretzel bun. A burger this big needs a beer that is equally as huge and the appropriately named Surly Furious IPA fit the the bill perfectly. Cranked up loud, we had the sophomore release “Absinthe Moon” from Maryland’s Mountainwolf on the stereo. We’ve got all the makings for an incredible trio, so let’s get to grilling.
Kumas Plague Bringer Burger – This is one of the few burgers we haven’t had yet at the restaurant, but we couldn’t wait to get our version rolling. Let’s start with making the roasted garlic for the mayo. We take two cloves of fresh garlic, slice the tops off of them then drizzle with olive oil. Wrap them tightly in aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
As the garlic is roasting, we can turn our attention to the burgers. We’re using 80/20 grass fed local ground beef that we hand form into 1/2 lb. patties then season heavily with our Not So Gentle Butcher’s Rub.
Before these burgers hit the grill, we’re going to wait for the garlic to finish up. Once we pull the garlic out of the oven we’ll pop the the tortilla strips in, which is just a few corn tortillas, cut into strips then sprayed with oil and sprinkled with our La Curandera Mexican Rub. These go on a cookie sheet then popped into the same 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until crispy.
As those are baking away, we can turn our attention to getting these burgers going. We get the charcoal grill going to a super hot heat and place the patties down.
These char for about 4-5 minutes per side to get a nice crust on both sides then we shift them over to a hot oiled grill pan on the cool side of the grill. We drape a couple slices of pepper jack over each patty then cover the grill for a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted.
Now we start to build. The patties go down on toasted pretzel buns then we spread a heaping tablespoon of crushed garlic on top.
Next up we scatter fresh sliced jalapeños over the top of the burger followed by a small handful of the tortilla strips.
Now we hit the burger with a huge shot of hot sauce. We’re using the addicting Riff Lord Red Jalapeño sauce from Heartbreaking Dawn’s to add a sweet heat to the burger.
The final ingredient is the roasted garlic mayo which we make by squeezing the two roasted bulbs of garlic into a bowl, season with black pepper and whisk into 1/2 cup of mayo. Liberally spread the mixture on the top half of the toasted bun.
That’s all she wrote on this one, it’s slice up and devour time. This immediately became one of our favorites with a perfect combination of garlic and spice, we can’t wait to give it a whirl at the restaurant.
Surly Brewing Furious – We’re still waiting for more offerings from this killer Minneapolis brewery to makes its way south, but until then we will enjoy what we do get. Tonight, we’ve got Surly’s big IPA Furious to wash down the burgers. To start, the beer pours like no other IPA we’ve ever seen. Furious hits the glass a murky brown looking like unfiltered wort with a foamy, billowy head. The aroma is a balance of sweet malt and bitter hops, again not unlike what an IPA wort might smell like. The similarities end at the first sip though when the boozy bite wallops you right away giving way to a creamy, malt-forward IPA with a hefty mouthfeel. The hops are there in an abundance, just nicely balanced out. A quick read of the can showed the brewery shared our feelings on the beer, it’s kind of hard to put this beer into a category but at the end of the day who cares, it’s still really good and may we add a really good fit for the spicy burger.
Mountainwolf “Absinthe Wolf” – We’re totally digging the sound the boys from Maryland are laying down on their new album. The whole album is full of raw power with a certain darkness hanging over it, blending in a bunch of influences as the album rolls on. “Twst” is the opening track and the spoken word opening line “Release me from this prison that you have created for me” gives the listener a glimpse of where this album is headed. It’s a heavy, sludgy, slightly trippy and definitely dark intro to the album that quickly turns on a dime to the frenetically paced “Black Lung”, a Tool-inspired 2 minute sludgy punk track. “Krishna” starts off with a huge guitar riff similar in heaviness and tone to AIC’s “Check Your Brain” before opening up some space and time for some airy jamming in the stylings of Janes Addiction. It’s a cool contrast of sounds that goes back and forth a couple of times throughout the song. “Lord Reekis” is another sonic explosion that is heavy jazz-influenced sludge with huge vocals along the lines of Richard Patrick and Maynard Keenan. After the 7+ minute psychedelic instrumental jam “Aprc” the band launches into the title track. A downtuned gem so full of low end it rattled our wall art. There’s an edge musically and vocally on this song, bringing an extra layer of angst-ridden darkness to the track. Ironically after the building instrumental “Water” comes “Tsunami”; a relatively chill, sludgy doom tune. “Zokar ” slows things down even more introducing the organ into the mix which adds yet another level of Doors-like psychedelia to the mix. Overall the album has got something for everyone, transcending different rock styles effortlessly making for a great album.