The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

May is National Hamburger Month, and there’s only one way to celebrate …

This Friday marks the beginning of National Hamburger Month, and to celebrate, Iron Hill Brewery in West Chester is promoting eight toothsome burgers created by in-house chef Dan Bethard.

We know that everyone has their favorite bun, patty and condiment, but in case you’re looking to shake things up for the ’09 grilling season, we’re throwing three of Chef Dan’s latest recipes your way.

Before you get started, below are some tips. And if you’re really lazy, you can head to Whole Foods in Wynnewood and grab one of the beef, turkey or lamb burgers in the meat case—all dressed up with bits of cheese, spinach, garlic, scallions, jalapeño and other goodies—or a teriyaki salmon burger all ready to grill (great with wasabi, soy and fresh ginger slivers).

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Chef Dan Bethard’s Burger Tips

• Ground chuck is the best type of beef for burgers.
• Look for 80/20, rather than 90/10; otherwise, the meat will be too lean to create a perfect patty.
• When forming patties, use cold beef and cold hands to avoid melting any flavorful fat away.
• Be gentle. A firm, dense patty makes a rotten burger.
• Heavily season the patty with Kosher salt and black pepper just before grilling; any sooner, and it will dry out.Iron Hill Brewery's Chef Dan Bethard
• Sear the burger over the hot part of the grill, then flip it and sear the other side.
• Move the burger to a cooler part of the grill, and cook to the desired temperature.
• Only flip the burger once.
• Never, ever press the burger; it will lose its juiciness and flavor.
• Crack open a growler of Iron Hill brew, and get busy!

Chef Dan’s Burger Recipes

Cooking Tips:
• For beef burgers, you should go to a butcher and get fresh-ground Angus beef. You can season with salt and pepper, and then form into patties, or you can buy already-formed patties and season with salt and pepper just before grilling.
• Get the grill very hot, and place the burgers on the grill. Don’t mess with the burgers; let them cook and only flip them over once. Serve immediately.

Smoke House Burger
Chef’s Notes: After cooking the burger, place hot barbequed onions onto it and melt slices of smoked Gouda on top, then crown with bacon slices.

Barbequed Onions (Shelf life: 3 days)
• 1 cup Vidalia onions
• 1 tbsp. blended oil
• 1 tsp. honey
• 1 tbsp. KC Masterpiece barbeque sauce

1. In a hot sauté pan, add oil and onions, and cook for a few minutes, tossing occasionally.
2. Turn heat to medium-low, and allow onions to brown slowly, tossing often.
3. Once onions are caramelized, drain them.
4. Place onions into a bowl, and stir in the barbeque sauce.

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Turkey Burger
Chef’s Notes: Guacamole goes on the top bun, ancho-honey mayonnaise on the bottom bun. Place some sliced tomato on top of the ancho mayo, then add the burger, melted pepper jack cheese and, lastly, bacon.

Guacamole (Shelf life: 2 days)
• 3 each avocados
• 1 oz. lime juice
• ½ tsp. kosher salt
• 1½ cups plum tomatoes, diced
• 1 tbsp. jalapeños, minced
• 1 tsp. garlic, minced
• 1 oz. onion, small dice
• 1 tbsp. cilantro, chopped

1. Mince onion and jalapeños, and keep separate.
2. In a bowl, add avocados, lime juice and kosher salt. Using a potato masher, mash ingredients together.
3. In a small bowl, mix together tomatoes, jalapeños, garlic, onion and cilantro. Add to the larger mixing bowl.

Ancho-Honey Mayonnaise
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1 tbsp. honey
• 1 tsp. lime juice
• ½ tsp. ancho chili powder, sifted

1. In a bowl, whisk together honey, mayonnaise and lime juice until mixed thoroughly.
2. Sift ancho powder into the bowl with other ingredients, and continue to whisk until fully incorporated.
Salmon BLT Burger
Chef’s Notes: Spread roasted shallot-black pepper aioli on both sides of burger bun. Place lettuce and tomato on the bottom bun, then the burger on top. Drizzle barbecue sauce over burger, and crown with bacon.

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Honey Barbeque Sauce (Shelf life: 10 days)
• 1 cup KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce
• 1½ oz. honey

• In a bowl, blend ingredients thoroughly.

Roasted Shallot-Black Pepper Aioli (Shelf life: 7 days)
• 8 oz. peeled shallots
• 1 tsp. blended oil
• 1½ cups mayonnaise
• 1½ oz. sour cream
• 1 tsp. garlic, minced
• ½ tsp. black pepper
• 1 tsp. lemon juice
• ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
• Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a saucepan, toss shallots with oil. Cover with lid or aluminum foil, and roast in preheated 350-degree-F oven for 1 hour, checking for doneness. Once they’re completely soft, remove aluminum foil and brown.
2. Allow to cool; remove outer layer and discard.
3. Puree into a paste in a food processor.
4. Add all ingredients in a mixing bowl, and mix together with a heavy-duty wire whip. Check for S&P.

Salmon Burger (Shelf life: 4 days)
• 1 lb. salmon
• 1 tbsp. chives, minced
• 1½ oz.  mayonnaise
• 1 oz. KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce
• ½ tsp. garlic, minced
• Pinch of salt and pepper
• 1 tbsp. lemon zest
1. Cube salmon, and place half into a food processor. Pulse food processor until salmon is minced and appears to be ground like hamburger meat. 
2. Empty salmon into a steel mixing bowl. Add chives, lemon zest, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, garlic, salt and pepper; mix. Form into patties.
3. Place patties onto a hot pan, and cook in the oven for 3 minutes. Add a splash of water so that the bottoms of the burgers don’t burn. Cook until salmon is done, about 3-4 more minutes.

Iron Hill Brewery, 3 W. Gay St., West Chester; (610) 738-9600,

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