Next Thursday is St. Patrick's Day and in celebration of the holiday, we've got one of my favorite original burger recipes -- the St. Patty Melt.
It all came to me as I walked past one of the countless delicatessens surrounding my New York City office and spied my favorite corned beef Reuben sandwich! A great sandwich, true, but why stop there? I then turned to another local favorite, the patty melt, and asked myself why the heck I couldn’t turn corned beef into a burger and create a Reuben inspired patty melt.
Now for those of you who are unfamiliar with corned beef, it is basically beef brisket that has been brined for several days and is then boiled until extremely tender. My plan, therefore, was to treat it as a brisket, grinding it to the consistency of hamburger meat before forming in to patties and grilling. As with a brisket, corned beef has two distinct cuts – the flat and the point. Given the fact that the point is the fattier of the two I opted to use it in the burger making process.
With uncooked corned beef in hand, I then turned to my trusted local butcher for advice on the best way to grind it. After a few test runs we eventually determined that triple grinding the meat produced a perfect burger consistency and eliminated any firmness that had been caused by the brining process. A quick test burger sandwiched on rye bread with a slice of Swiss cheese, some homemade sauerkraut and a touch of course ground mustard confirmed what I already suspected…the St. Paddy Melt parade has begun!
ST. PADDY MELT
1 uncooked corned beef brisket (preferably the point cut*), approximately 3 pounds and triple ground to achieve a hamburger-like consistency
8 slices Swiss cheese
16 slices rye bread
Course ground mustard
Kwik ‘kraut (recipe follows)
Form ground corned beef into eight even sized patties. Heat grill to high and cook burgers for approximately 5 minutes per side until medium (160 degrees internal temperature). Meanwhile, place bread slices on the grill, turning occasionally until lightly toasted, 2-3 minutes per side, and remove. Top each burger with kwik ‘kraut and a slice of Swiss, cover grill and cook an additional 1-2 minutes until cheese has begun to melt. Spread mustard on each slice of rye according to personal preference, sandwich burger between two slices and serve.
* Available in many grocers’ meat department labeled as “point cut” or “thick cut”
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
½ sweet onion, thinly sliced
½ head of green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
¼ cup apple juice
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup water
Sugar to taste
Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, garlic and onions and sauté until soft. Add cabbage and stir to combine. Pour in apple juice, water and vinegar and reduce heat to medium. Cook mixture, stirring occasionally for approximately 10-15 minutes until cabbage has become tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Drain sauerkraut in a colander, squeezing out any excess moisture and add sugar to taste if too bitter. Refrigerate sauerkraut until ready to use.