Recipe excerpted with permission from
“The Burger Book” by Christian Stevenson, (“DJ BBQ”) published by Quadrille, May 2019, $19.99
Photography by David Loftus
Christian Stevenson, aka DJ BBQ, specializes in meats and beats. Beware, the DJ BBQ Burger might start a dance party in your mouth.
Beef Patties (makes 4 burgers)
• 1 pound, 12 ounces ground beef (Ask your butcher to prepare the following mix of cuts, preferably 21- to 28- day dry-aged beef. Or do it yourself following the weights below and simply put it all through a coarse-grain meat grinder.)
• 8½ ounces chuck
• 5½ ounces short rib
• 4¼ ounces brisket
• 4¼ ounces flank
• 5½ ounces suet or
• Sea salt
• Black pepper
Aioli (Or use mayonnaise)
• 1 whole garlic bulb, roasted
• 2½ ounces olive oil
• Squeeze of lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon water
• Sea salt
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 to 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 red onions, thinly sliced
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
• 4 tablespoons yellow mustard
• 4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
• 8 dry-cured bacon slices
• 4 demi-brioche seeded buns
• 4 lettuce leaves
• 1 beef tomato, sliced
- To roast the garlic, preheat your grill or oven to 350 degrees. Loosely wrap the garlic bulb in foil and toss it in the oven or nestle it in the coals. Leave it there for an hour, then remove it and let it cool.
- Once the garlic has cooled, peel four of the cloves—or you can squeeze the garlic—into a bowl. Smash the garlic until it’s super-smooth. Add the rest of the aioli ingredients, and blend together until the mixture is smooth and gooey. Season with salt and stir in the lemon juice. This will make enough for the recipe, but you might as well use up all your oozy cloves and make loads because it’s phenomenal on everything apart from breakfast cereal.
- Next, for the onions, place a small frying pan over indirect heat on the grill or on a low to medium heat on the stove. Pour in the olive oil, then toss in the butter. When the butter has melted, add the sliced onions and brown sugar. Slow-cook and stir until soft and golden—it should take around 20 minutes. Once golden, stir in the Worcestershire sauce, then keep this on a super-low heat until you’re ready to serve.
- Divide the ground beef into four balls and flatten them into patties a little bit larger than the buns, as you’ll get shrinkage as the fats render. Season with salt and pepper.
- Have your yellow mustard ready in a bowl with a basting brush. This is an awesome hack for making killer burgers—loads of top chefs use this mustard-basting technique.
- Get your grill nice and hot, or set your griddle pan over a high heat on the stove, then slap your patties on. If you’re cooking outdoors, the meat might stick to the grill—don’t worry, the grill will release the meat when it’s ready. You want to sear the bottom of the patties and get a nice crust (around 1 to 2 minutes), then flip them over and brush on some of the mustard.
- When the other side has developed a crust (after another 1 to 2 minutes), flip the burgers again and brush on more mustard. Now it’s all about cooking that sweet, sharp, tangy goodness into the meat until it’s where you want it. Give the burgers a couple of flips until the mustard is pretty much cooked into the patty.
- When they’re almost cooked—after about 8 minutes—add the cheese slices on top of each burger and cover with a cloche or big metal bowl to speed up the melt on the cheese. (It’ll take 30 seconds max.) Use a temperature probe to make sure the burgers are perfectly cooked, then remove and keep warm.
- Slam your bacon onto the grill or griddle and cook until crispy. Place on paper towels to absorb some of the fat. Toast your buns and lay them out for the build. Spread the bottom bun with the aioli, then add the lettuce and cheesy burger. Top with bacon, tomato, sautéed onions, and finally, the lid. Then open wide and take a bite!