Adapted from epicurious.com.
Makes 4 large burgers.
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
12 oz portobello mushroom caps (about 4 large), cleaned, stems trimmed, and cut into large chunks
4 thick slices of nitrate-free bacon (optional)
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp bacon fat or olive oil
1 lb ground beef or buffalo
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt (optional)
2 celery ribs
1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored but left unpeeled
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp whole grain mustard
1/4 tsp raw organic honey (optional)
Bacon racked for baking.
- Place bacon on a rack in a shallow pan (jelly roll pan works great). Set oven heat to 400 degrees. Immediately place bacon in oven (before it reaches temperature) until it is about halfway cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. You can also just cook it in a skillet, but baking works best for me.
NOTE: If you don't have a rack, form crumpled pieces of foil into long strips and create a grid in your pan. Put the bacon on top of the foil grid. Not quite as pretty, but it works. You can also just set the bacon directly on a foil-lined shallow pan. Be sure to pat the bacon grease off the bacon strips before processing it.
- While bacon cooks, working in batches, pulse mushrooms and onion in food processor until finely chopped. Remove mixture from processor.
- Pulse partially cooked bacon in food processor until finely chopped.
- Heat 2 Tbsp bacon fat or olive oil in a large heavy skillet. Add mushroom mixture and bacon, stirring to combine. Add 1/4 tsp pepper.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown and liquid evaporates, 15 - 20 minutes (10 - 15 if not using bacon). Transfer to a large bowl and cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
- While vegetables cool, prepare slaw by cutting celery and apple into 2-inch long julienne with a slicer (or by hand). Whisk together remaining ingredients and toss with apples and celery. Let stand 15 minutes (while burgers cook) to develop flavors.
- Mix ground meat into cooled mushroom mixture with your hands until well combined. I know, I know...no one wants that stuff under their fingernails, but it's really the best way to mix. Form into four 4-inch patties.
- Wipe out skillet and heat remaining bacon fat or oil. Cook burgers, turning once, for about 8 minutes total for medium rare. I think these burgers would also stand up to outdoor grilling, but I haven't tried it.
- Serve topped with celery apple slaw.
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