This was one of those recipes I never intended to post. I made them for one of my friends over the summer, a casual dinner enjoyed on the back porch with copious amounts of wine and good conversation. Because of all the socializing, snapping a good photograph of this dish was the last thing on my mind. I’m hoping you’ll be willing to use your imagination just this once and visualize with me because these burgers are really fantastic.
They take all the flavors of beef stroganoff – mushrooms, garlic, sour cream, and paprika – and translate them into one satisfyingly messy burger. Basically, the beef becomes the hamburger, as one might imagine, and the creamy sauce gets generously spooned over the top. I like to serve mine on a sturdy toasted bun, like a good sourdough roll, to ensure the whole thing doesn’t fall apart. Yes, you might find a bit of sauce dripping down your wrists. This isn’t a very ladylike meal. (Thankfully my friend is a fellow foodie and eats with gusto and had no problem overlooking, or perhaps enjoying this meal in spite of this fact.)
Also worth noting, I use a bit of powdered porcinis in the burgers. This is completely optional, but highly recommended. It makes the burgers deeply savory, full of umami, and also carries the mushroom flavor through. I bought mine from The Spice House, but I’ve seen it sold elsewhere. There’s also the option of making your own by grinding your favorite variety of dried mushrooms in a spice grinder.
Yields 6 servings
-1 1/2 pounds ground beef, ideally ground chuck
-1 ½ teaspoon powdered porcinis (optional)
-3/4 teaspoon sea salt
-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-2 tablespoon butter
-2 medium shallots, diced
-2 cloves garlic minced
-4 4-ounce packages gourmet mushroom blend (or 1 pound assorted mushrooms such as cremini, oyster, and porcini, sliced)
-1 cup beef stock
-Leaves of two sprigs of thyme
-1 teaspoon smoked paprika
-1 cup sour cream
-6 sourdough rolls
Place ground beef in a large bowl and sprinkle the powdered porcinis through black pepper over the top. Gently work the hamburger just until the ingredients are combined, being careful not to overwork. Form the beef into six equal patties and set aside.
Place a skillet over medium-low heat and add the butter until it melts. Add the shallots and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook two minutes longer. Bring the heat up to medium and add the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until the released moisture has evaporated and they have softened, about 4 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the beef stock and cook until all the liquid has evaporated.
Finally add the thyme, paprika and sour cream and stir until well combined. Allow it to bubble gently for 5 minutes further to thicken slightly.
While sauce is thickening, prepare a charcoal or a stove-top grill.
Cook the hamburgers for 4 minutes on the first side, then turn and cook 3 minutes on the other side for medium-rare. Remove to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Allow the hamburgers to rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, grill the buns, cut side down, for 1 minute, until toasted.
Top each bun with a burger and the mushroom-sour cream mixture. Serve immediately while hot.