As the insufferable heat of the past several weeks begins to break, I am ready to fire up my grill again and spend evenings sitting around our fire pit. Last night I did both and since I’d been so inspired by Grain Craft Bar & Kitchen’s Chef Bill last week, I decided to do my own version of a smoked tomato dish. Thanks to Amy’s request, we lightened up the burgers and went bunless this go around. These burgers were so delicious I may never use buns again!
1 pkg Detwielier’s Grass Fed ground hamburger
8 to 12 slices Cabot Cheddar cheese, divided
1 head Iceburg lettuce, cored and leaves removed
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon TexJoy Steak Seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Gochujang paste
1/4 teaspoon Spicy Brown Mustard
Sliced Dill Pickles, optional
1 to 2 teaspoons Smoked Tomato Ketchup, recipe follows
Salt and Pepper to taste
Prepare a charcoal grill. While the coals are heating up, combine the hamburger, smoked paprika, TexJoy Steak seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, Gochujang past, Spicy Brown mustard, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Once well combined, form the hamburger into four medium sized patties and set aside. Feel free to season your hamburger however you like best. Once the coals are ready, grill the burgers about 3 to 4 minutes per side or until an internal temperature reads 160 degrees per patty. Once the burgers are nearly done, place 2 to 3 slices of Cabot cheddar on top of each patty and cover until the cheese is just melted. Remove from the grill and allow to rest a few minutes. Assemble the bunless burgers by wrapping each patty in 1 to 2 Iceburg lettuce leaves and garnish with the Roasted Tomato Ketchup and sliced pickles.
Smoked Fresh Tomato Ketchup
5 to 6 garden fresh tomatoes, sliced into quarters
1 teaspoon EVOO
1/2 teaspoon Smoked Hickory Salt
1/4 teaspoon Onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/4 cup Yuengling
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
about a teaspoon of raw sugar
Prepare a charcoal grill. While coals are heating up, add the quartered tomatoes into a cast iron skillet and toss with the EVOO and all other ingredients EXCEPT the sugar. Once coals are ready, place the cast iron skillet directly on the grill, cover and cook the tomatoes until they have broken down and reduced about 2o minutes, stirring occasionally. Depending on how juicy your tomatoes are and how hot your grill is you may need to adjust the cooking time. Once the tomatoes have reduce into a very thick sauce, delgaze the cast iron with the 1/4 cup Yuengling and continue to cook uncovered until the sauce has reduced again 10 to 15 minutes. Once reduced, very carefully remove the extremely hot cast iron from the grill and place on your range top. Add the sugar and adjust seasonings as needed. You want the ketchup flavor to be a little salty, a little tangy, and a little sweet. Serve the Smoked Fresh Tomato Ketchup as a condiment with your favorite grilled meats or veggies.
Charred Corn on the Cob
4 to 6 farm fresh corn on the cob, trimmed with husks left intact
1 gallon of water
In a large brining bucket or cooler, add the corn and water. Weigh the corn down with a bowl or plate so that as much of the corn is submerged in the water as possible. Soak the corn at least an hour to overnight. Prepare a charcoal grill. Once the coals are ready, grill the corn 45min to an hour. I like my corn with plenty of charred bits so I cook mine closer to an hour. The corn is usually tender enough and ready to eat between 20 to 30 minutes however. Enjoy the charred corn plain, with butter, or seasoned however you like.