Eat this!

In the court of casual eating, the burger is king. It can be served deliciously naked or dressed up in countless mouth-watering combinations. I’ve had some burgers that I dream about because they hit the limit of creativity and taste.
So, of course, I have been influenced by my burger-eating experiences and have come up with some excellent recipes on my own. This one is perfect for the winter — rich, bold and complete with the holiday spices.
The most important part of my burger is the quality of the meat. It’s the nucleus of the recipe, so make the extra effort to get butcher-quality, ground chuck with 20 percent fat. Anything else, such as sirloin, won’t be as moist or juicy. Most supermarkets have butcher counters and it’s readily available.
For four burgers, you’ll need two pounds of meat. Yes, that’s a half-pound per burger because they shrink significantly when grilled. I purchase bacon at the butcher counter, too, if they have it. I get four slices, at least a quarter inch thick. You can buy some pretty decent bacon in a package. Just make sure it’s not too thin.
You’ll need a gutsy roll for these burgers, so use French brioche. I get them fresh right in the bakery section. If you choose to use a flimsier roll, you’ll be disappointed by its lack of performance. It’s like throwing a feather-weight fighter in a heavy-weight boxing match.
The highlight of this recipe is the topping, an in-your-face chutney that is surprisingly easy to make. You’ll need to grab a bag of cranberries, one orange, one small Vidalia onion, one lemon, a ripe fresh mango (canned is fine if you can’t find fresh), and one jalapeno pepper.
You will also need one-quarter cup each of apple vinegar and brown sugar. I use a combination of spices such as ginger, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Pick up a bag of red-skinned potatoes for steak fries and a tube of Bonne Vie herbed goat cheese.
The masterpiece meal starts by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Next, get out a cast iron skillet for the bacon. Use a medium, non-stick frying pan if you don’t have one. Place the four slices of bacon in the skillet on medium-high heat.
Then, place meat in a large bowl. Season with several pinches of coarse salt and fresh ground pepper. Use your hands to mix thoroughly. The reason I don’t add more seasoning to the burger is because there are so many flavor profiles going on already.
Now, separate and form the meat into eight even patties on a cutting board. Push down on them so they are not round at all. They need to be thinned to about an inch thick. Don’t worry if they look big, because they will shrink. Slice the goat cheese into eight even pieces and place two pieces on four meat patties.
Place the remaining four patties on top of the cheesed-covered patties and press them together. Be careful to do just lightly enough so the cheese is not visible, but the patties are now one. Place on a tray.
Check the bacon and flip the slabs over. They should be browning nicely. Using a cutting board, slice the red potatoes into wedges and place on a cooking sheet. Season potatoes with a spritz of olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Put the potatoes in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. After this, pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat.
In a saucepan, simmer on medium-low the contents of one bag of cranberries, one-quarter cup of vinegar, one-quarter cup brown sugar, one orange – rind only, chopped mango, finely chopped onion, finely chopped jalapeno, a half teaspoon each of cinnamon, allspice, ginger and salt.
Add the juice from a half of a lemon as the contents simmer down and thicken – after about 10 minutes. Then turn the heat down to just a simmer for another 10-15 minutes. The entire chutney process should be about 20-30 minutes. If the chutney looks too thick, take that orange and squeeze some juice in there. Try not to add water.
Remove the bacon and place on a plate with a paper towel to remove excess fat.
Get those burgers and put them on the grill. Keep the temp at medium-high. Close the lid and give them seven minutes. Flip after seven and repeat for seven more for medium rare. Remember they have cheese inside so don’t cut into or poke them.
When the burgers have cooked on both sides, you will see a perfect 50-50 ratio of blood and oil start to drip from the burger. Now take them off and let them sit UNCOVERED. Throw the buns on the grill until they begin to char then take them off immediately before they burn.
Take out the potatoes and turn off the chutney. Get your plates out and slice the rolls partially in half, leaving them connected on one side. Place six or seven potato wedges on the plate next to the roll. I like to keep the orange theme and slice up my rinded orange as garnish.
Put two slices on per plate. It looks a bit funky with the rind off, but it’s different, and it works. Now place the burgers on the rolls with three good dollops of chutney and lay some leafy spring mix on the top bun, and there you have it.
You have now entered the castle.