'Murka! : No matter how you say it, it’s a good burger
Raised in a country that thrives on patriotism, it is second nature to pronounce the four syllables of our national moniker when singing one of the myriad anthems written to inspire and move us. Mayhap when one is speaking to a board of some sort, or arguing his case in front of the magistrate, “Amer-
ica” is quite polysyllabic.
Yet, after a week-
end of monster trucks, mechanical construction and the Super Bowl, one all but falls into the habit of yelling “’Murka!” at the top of his lungs.
It is the rally cry of the masses; a country brought together by 5-ton trucks hurled into the stratosphere, a feat that salutes the ingenuity of Gravedigger and Ghost Rhyder.
It is the battle drum of a nation united to help the USA to regain ground in technology and science.
It is the summons of all football fans, followers of the contenders or not, to come together to watch the most observed sporting event of the year.
But most of all, it is a salute to a day of peace on which countless people are sharing their pride in s of food and entertaining.
The Super Bowl party is a phenomenon much akin to Thanksgiving for many, and it is staggering to consider how much time and effort is placed into the planning. Particularly, since this is the first time our state team has played in the big dance in 22 years, it doesn’t seem possible to take more than a few steps without running into the color purple.
And while I’m on that subject, I have to digress in order to share a story about a couple I met today at the food store. I’ve known the woman for a number of years, but just met her boyfriend, former and latter draped in Ravens regalia.
What I found out not only confused but also confounded me — he was a lifelong Eagles fan and has been converted to a Ravens fan. Ah, the power of love. It seemed almost as bizarre as someone trying to make my brother a Dallas fan. Sometimes truth truly is stranger than fiction.
So as I rekindle the fond memories of the trucks on Friday, despite the fact that Loco Hombre ended up flipped over instead of making a full backflip (let’s face it, crashes at monster truck shows are pretty cool), I try to muster and define my thoughts on the weekend. What should I eat before the Super Bowl?
What one food would sum up our experiences? Chicken wings are old hat, albeit one of my favorites. Chips and dip need no formal introduction. Chili? We ain’t in Texas.
No, I want a burger, and I want a burger with bacon and fried deli and country ham. A burger with fried onions and mushrooms. A burger with Buffalo sauce chiming in for a command performance, and of course a smattering of Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar.
I think that says “’Murka!” more than anything else I can think of.
I’ll get back to four syllables tomorrow.
8 ounces ’Murka Burger Patty (recipe follows)
4 slices cooked Applewood bacon
2 slices pan-fried ham
fried onions and ’shrooms (recipe follows)
Buffalo mayo (recipe follows)
Step 1: Heat a frying pan with some whole butter and cook until the foam has subsided
Step 2: Add the patties, making sure not to overcrowd the pan
Step 3: Cook on a high heat to create a nice crust
Step 4: Turn the burgers over and cook until done or remove to a pan to finish in the oven
Step 5: Toast the buns after spreading with some butter
Step 6: When ready to serve, top the burgers on the pan with the onions and ’shrooms, ham and cheddar
Step 7: Place in oven for 1 minute until the cheese has melted
Step 8: Remove from oven, top with bacon and place on roll
Step 9: Top the burger with fries (Primanti-style), lettuce, tomato and Buffalo mayo
makes 6 burgers
2.5 pounds ground chuck and brisket blend
1 Tbsp. Stubb’s liquid smoke
2 Tbsp. Spatini Spice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
Step 1: Combine all ingredients well, beating the eggs first to more easily incorporate them
Step 2: Separate the beef into 2 parts, and then split each one of those into 3 even parts
Step 3: Press into patties and set aside until ready to cook
Fried onions and ’shrooms
2 Tbsp. whole butter
1 ounces diced Virginia country ham
12 medium button mushrooms, sliced
1 medium white or red onion, julienned
salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Heat the butter and add the country ham. Cook for 3 minutes
Step 2: Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms
Step 3: Cook for ten minutes, or until the mushrooms and onions are tender and the onions caramelize a touch
Step 4: Season to taste and set aside in the accumulated liquids until ready to serve
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup bleu cheese crumbles
1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot
Step 1: Combine all ingredients and let stand covered in icebox for at least 24 hours if possible