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Beer Infused Burgers

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Beer and burgers are what summertime is made of. There is nothing like sipping a cold one while standing in front of a grill full of burgers, shades on, music playing and friends all around. Since I am a food mash-up guy, I decided to take this beer and burger pairing to the next level by making 3 burgers totally infused with beer! Each of these burgers has not one but two beer infused ingredients, making these the ultimate beer burgers!

Beer and Cheddar Fondue Smothered Burger with Spicy Beer Pickles
Beer and cheese fondue has been around for ages.  We all know how essential cheese is to a burger, and sometimes a molten cheese sauce is the way to go.  Don’t just pour a little on though, really go for it!  The spicy and sour quick pickles are the perfect foil for that heavy beer sauce, cutting right through the heaviness with a little kick.
Equal parts vinegar and beer give the pickles a nice sourness with wheat undertones, and the beer in the cheese sauce adds a nice depth of flavor. The recipes are listed below, but first look at this sexy instagram video I posted last week.
OH YEA!
Cook your burger and just drench it in the sauce. It’s good to have the sauce just flowing off the burger, cause now you can dip your burger into the sauce on the plate! Full disclosure... I ate 2 of these in one sitting. Messy, but oh-so worth it! But what beer should you drink with it? An American Lager would be perfect. The heavy flavors in the burger and fondue need something light to wash it all down.

The IPA Cowboy Burger
These days everyone loves a nice hoppy IPA. My favorite burger is the cowboy burger with BBQ sauce and onion rings, so I decided to infuse that style of burger with IPA flavor. I made the BBQ sauce using a floral IPA, and then mixed some into the beer batter for the onion rings. This has everything you want in a burger, sweet and savory BBQ sauce, crunchy onion rings, and a tender meaty burger patty.
The BBQ sauce starts off with some onions and butter, then fresh tomatoes are cooked down with the onions to form a thick paste. Beer is added along with some worcestershire, molasses, maple syrup, and vinegar. The onions rings are just soaked in a little buttermilk and then dredged with a beer and flour batter. They fry at 375 for about 3 minutes. Some American cheese on the burger patty finishes off this all American IPA Cowboy Burger. The onion rings added such a nice crunch that really took this burger over the top! The BBQ sauce is really sweet from the onions and maple syrup and goes great with the floral IPA. Sometimes when you pair beers you want to choose contrasting flavors, but other times you want to match flavors. For the Cowboy IPA burger, I would suggest drinking the same IPA you use in the onion rings and BBQ sauce. The flavors are subtle in the burger but if you are drinking the beer it will bring them out more. Choose a dry hopped IPA for more hop aroma with moderate bitterness.

Beer Bread Patty Melt with Beer Mustard
Beer bread is the easiest of all breads to make, in fact there is only 5 ingredients and you can even mix it right in the pan you are going to cook it in! The beer gives the bread a great dimension of flavor that wouldn't be there if you were making such a quick bread with any other liquid. I wanted to make a patty melt with beer bread and it worked great, but you have to be careful while making this sandwich because beer bread is notoriously crumbley and will fall apart on you. Once it is cooked though, it holds it's shape really well.
The beer bread has beer of course, and flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and butter. The mustard is ground mustard seeds with beer, vinegar, and honey. There is also a little paprika and turmeric in there, but mostly for color. Spread the mustard onto the sliced beer bread, then add some cheese, the cooked burger patty, more cheese, and then the top bread that is also slathered in the mustard. This was one of the best patty melts I have ever had! The bread is dense and chewy which is different from most patty melts but gave it such a unique texture. The beer in the bread and mustard really comes through in the final dish. The homemade mustard has a really nice kick too! The beer bread patty melt is a hearty burger that I strongly suggest making on the first chilly night this coming autumn. The sandwich will hug you like a blanket after a long cold day, and you want to choose a beer that will do the same. A nice milk stout will be the perfect choice. Creamy, rich, and dark, the flavors will play off the dense bread, cheese, and mustard in the burger.

Beer Infused Burgers

  • Spicy Beer Quick Pickles
  • 1 Package Mini Cucumbers (about 5 or 6)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons Chile Flake
  • 1.5 Cups White Vinegar
  • 1.5 Cups Lager Beer
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Beer Cheddar Fondue
  • 1/2 Cup Lager Beer
  • 2 Teaspoons Cornstarch
  • 10 Ounces Cheddar
  • Beer-B-Q Sauce
  • 1/2 Stick Butter
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 5 Plum Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Red Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Mustard
  • 1 Cup IPA Beer
  • Salt and Pepper
  • IPA Onion Rings
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 2 Cups Buttermilk
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Flour (yea, another one)
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • Salt, Pepper, Paprika
  • IPA Beer
  • Oil for Frying
  • Beer Mustard
  • 1/3 Cup Yellow Mustard Seed
  • 1/4 Cup Black Mustard Seed
  • 1/4 Cup Red Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Lager Beer
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Honey
  • Beer Bread
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Lager Beer
  • 1 Stick Butter

Instructions

    The Burgers
    1. All the burger patties were 5 ounces of meat formed to fit the size of your standard store bought bun. Liberally apply salt and pepper to both sides and grill or pan fry until medium/ medium rare
    Spicy Beer Quick Pickles
    1. Add the cucumbers to a jar. Microwave the vinegar until steaming. Pour over the pickles. Add a teaspoon of salt. Cover and shake. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Add the garlic and chile flake. Add the beer. Cover and shake (gently this time) and refrigerate. Use once cold, but after a whole night in the fridge they will be even better.
    Beer Cheddar Fondue
    1. Grate the cheese and toss it with the cornstarch. Heat the beer in a heavy bottom pan. Once it comes to a simmer remove from heat. Stir in the cheese. Keep stirring to melt. You may need to turn the heat back on to low, but be careful not to overheat! If you heat this mixture too much it will separate. If it does separate, you should be able to bring it back together with a hand blender.
    Build the Fondue Burger
    1. Place your cooked burger on the bottom bun. Top with a few pickles. Then pour a ton of the fondue on top soaking the burger and filling up the plate. Serve with lots of napkins!
    Beer-B-Q Sauce
    1. Dice the onion and cut the tomato into 8ths. Add the butter to a pan and melt. Add your onions and some salt and pepper and cook about 10 minutes until just starting to lightly brown. Add the tomatoes and cook another 10 - 15 minutes until this mixture has formed a thick paste. Add in the rest of the ingredients with some more salt and simmer about 25 minutes. Blend in a blender or with a stick blender until smooth. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Allow to cool before serving and once cooled, add another splash of beer if it is too thick.
    IPA Battered Onion Rings
    1. Cut the onion into thick rounds, between 1/4 and 1/2 inch and separate the rings. Put the onion into a bowl with the buttermilk and a pinch of salt and toss to coat being gentle not to break all the rings. Allow to sit for an hour while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
    2. Pour about 2 inches of oil into a wide and sturdy frying pan and bring to 350 degrees. Put one cup of flour onto a plate with some salt and pepper. Put the other cup of flour into a bowl with salt, pepper, and paprika. Add some beer to that bowl, starting with about 1 cup. Stir well to combine and add more as needed. You want this to be the texture of a pancake batter that is on the thin side.
    3. Shake off the excess buttermilk from an onion ring and dredge it in the flour mixture first. Once coated, shake off the excess and then dip it into the batter. Next drop it into the hot oil. Fry for about 3 minutes flipping once during frying. Remove from oil and set on a rack to dry and cool. Salt immediately.
    Build the IPA Cowboy Burger
    1. Toast your bun. When you cook the burger top it with a slice of cheese so it gets nicely melted. Put the burger onto the bottom bun and top it with a nice slather of BBQ sauce. Then add 3 onion rings on top. Serve immediately!
    Beer Mustard
    1. Grind the mustard seed to almost a powder with a little bit of coarse texture. Add the vinegar, beer, turmeric, and paprika. Microwave the mixture for 1 minute. Blend with a stick blender, or in a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes. Stir in the honey. Gauge the mixture for thickness. Does it seem too thick or thin? You may need to add a little more ground mustard or beer. Allow to sit in the fridge overnight. This mustard will be aggressive the first day you make it but it will mellow out each day it spends in the fridge.
    Beer Bread
    1. Preheat the oven to 375. For the flour, make sure it is lightly packed. You can sift it or just spoon it into your cup measure, but do not scoop it or you will end up with too dense of a bread. Melt the butter and mix all the ingredients. Grease a loaf pan and pour it in. Bake for about 45 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before cutting.
    Build the Beer Bread Patty Melt
    1. Carefully slice 2 slices of the beer bread. The bread is crumbly so you have to be careful! Spread some mustard onto each slice, then top with a slice of cheese. Put the cooked burger in the middle. Melt some butter in a pan and cook the burger like it is a grilled cheese until browned on both sides and the cheese is melted. Once each side gets browned it becomes a little more sturdy.