After seeing the weather forecast, Sunday looked like a STELLAR day to grill!! So, I planned on just doing a couple of burgers for the hubs and I, but had no clue until Sunday morning on how to dress them up special. We had a couple of packages of brats in the back freezer that I had debated grilling….and then I put two and two together! A stellar day required a stellar burger!!! Back out to the freezer I went! And to my total surprise, it just also happened to be National Cheese Burger Day to boot!! I didn’t know anything about it until they mentioned it on the morning news! So I knew luck had to be on my side. And yes. Yes it was.
I had been imagining doing a “brat burger” all summer long. And as the days are getting shorter and shorter, I figured it was now or never for this grilling season to finally give my idea a shot! And I’m SO glad that I did!!! Because these burgers were truly something to remember!!!
I know that there’s a lot of “brat burger” recipes floating around in cyberspace, but before you pass this one by, you might want to see how I’ve created mine. What I’ve always had in mind is quite different than what’s out there.
I don’t kill the bratwurst by slicing it open and squeezing the meat out, and mixing it into a pound of hamburger like all the rest. That’s just cold blooded murder!! 😉 I just could never do that. (And I always wondered how you’d get the sausage done without overcooking the beef…
I also couldn’t see using a plain ol’ slice of American cheese. Even swiss cheese didn’t sound like a “wow factor” in this equation. So I used some of my TREASURED and HOARDED horseradish cheddar made by my new favorite cheese company, Cabot! THAT. Was the TICKET!!
Anyways. I guess I always see things a bit differently, and had always envisioned a gorgeously grilled brat, butterflied, and placed on top of a beautiful cheese burger! That’s just how I’ve always pictured it! So that’s what I did. OH yea.
The mustard was an easy choice! I had regular mustard, spicy brown and whole grain. I reached straight for the whole grain!! But you can use your own favorite mustard, of course!
I debated on the onions, though. Onions were definitely going to be a must with this, as my favorite brat toppings are always mustard and onions. So, to go with raw chopped like I do on plain brats? Thinly sliced since it’s a burger?? Or go with homemade deep fried onions… Decisions decisions. Over the simplest of ingredients.
So I decided exactly that. Simple was best. I sliced an onion nice and thick, and grilled them. They were melt in your mouth tender but with just a tiny bit of firmness left! Onion perfection!! I basted them with a garlic and onion powder butter, and…omg. Heavenly!!
Good burgers don’t need much. Traditional cheeseburgers with American cheese and the usual suspect toppings are always a welcome treat! But….sometimes….you just want a little something extra. Something fun! Something that helps end summer with a DAMN that was good!! 😉
And yes. Yes it was.
There’s still plenty of grilling time left! (And if you’re a die-hard griller like we are, there’s no such thing as “grilling season”. It’s year round at our house!!) Sooo….wait no more!
End summer with a killer good burger and enjoy!! 🙂
*Semi-Homemade (flavored!) buns coming SOON!!
- 1 pkg. quality bratwursts such as Johnsonville®, slow-grilled then split open lengthwise (don't slice all the way through)
- 1 lb. 85% lean quality ground beef such as Certified Angus®, grilled to doneness preferred
- salt and pepper, to taste but be generous (especially with the pepper! so good!)
- 1 (rounded and lightly packed) cup grated Cabot™ Cheddar Horseradish Cheese
- 1 - 2 large onions, thickly sliced
- 3 Tbl. melted butter
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp. onion powder
- 3 large hamburger buns, preferably my Semi-Homemade Onion Poppy Seed Buns
- 3 large lettuce leaves
- whole grain mustard, or your own favorite mustard
- Optional Toppings: sauerkraut, pickles or relish, tomatoes, bacon
- Slow-grill brats over medium-low gas grill or on cool side of coals. 20 - 30 minutes. Or grill as you like. Set aside and cover when done, or move to a very top rack to keep warm.
- Divide ground beef into thirds, form into patties, and season each side with regular salt and pepper to taste. Grill to doneness preferred. *Pink inside ok only if using high-quality ground beef. Otherwise cook until done through. Top with cheese, close grill and melt. Place burgers onto platter with grilled brats.
- Grill onion slices brushed with the melted butter mixed with the garlic and onion powders until nice grill marks and tender. Remove to platter. Cover.
- Brush insides of buns with remaining seasoned melted butter and grill insides of buns until toasted.
- To Assemble: Place a leaf of lettuce (optional) on bottom bun. Top with a cheeseburger, butterflied bratwurst, a slice of grilled onion, and spread inside of top bun with whole grain mustard. Place lid on top. Enjoy!!