You can’t get THIS in any drive-thru! I bet NO restaurant even comes close to this Ultimate Meat Lover’s Pizza Burger, either! 6 MEATS. Yes. SIX! Lean ground beef, spicy sausage, salami, pepperoni, pulled beef short ribs, and bacon! A spicy, chunky pizza sauce, lots of cheese, (including a garlic & herb buttered cheesy bun!), add to make this burger truly a masterpiece!!
This was certainly one of the best, and most memorable burgers I’ve made in awhile! My hubby said I’d make a fortune if I could sell these!
And it all came about because of Kita Roberts’s, of Girl Carnivore, Burger of the Month Club! February’s secret ingredients were Short Ribs, Lemongrass, Fennel, and Gochujang! And I was SO excited to get started on this one! I admit, I have never cooked short ribs before, and I have never even heard of “gochujang”!
But, alas, my bubble got a little hole in it and deflated just a bit when our stores didn’t have any lemongrass of any kind, fresh or dried, and none of that cool sounding “stuff” that I was dying to try…the ever-still-mysterious, “gochujang”.
But that wasn’t going to stop me from participating anyway. There is always a way around the negative if you find the positive! After all, I did have darn good looking beef short ribs and a fresh fennel bulb to play with!
These were pricy, but there was a ton of meat on them! So, not so terrible! They were so good, that we’re going to be having them again in the near future for sure!
And low and behold, I couldn’t believe our pathetic stores actually had fresh fennel!!
And so, after researching, I found a semi-suitable sub for the lemongrass. Though not in any way a real sub in my opinion, arugula and fresh lemon juice was just going to have to suffice.
I figured that it would make a wonderful “salad” layer for my burger, especially adding thinly sliced fresh fennel, EVOO, lemon juice, parmesan, and a little salt and pepper!
As far as the gochujang, I only had a few, rather confusing, clues as to what to do. The flavor seemed to be described as unique and complex, and it will just have to be something that I will look for in the future when we move!
So, for now, I made a pizza sauce and spiked it with the suggested sriracha sauce and Asian-style chili paste, that seemed to be a lame, but “ok” sub for the gochujang. Though not a great sub I’m sure, I do have to tell you, that this pizza sauce was KILLER good! So, all’s well that ends well. At least I tried! Right?
So, anyways, had I had all of the ingredients for this month’s challenge, I probably would’ve gone in more of an asian-style direction, but I’m almost glad that I chose a different path! Because THIS burger ROCKED. OUT.
Okay. Now, because we were having leftovers on the first day, I cooked the short ribs on “leftover day” so that they would be ready to go the next day. But there’s no reason why you can’t do it all on the same day.
These take 3 hours in the oven after searing in butter…..
…so there’s plenty of time to get the rest of your ingredients all made and ready to go.
After getting a gorgeous sear on these babies, I placed them into a large, deep baking dish, and added a can of beef consommé and topped them with a can of french onion soup to start.
Next I added finely minced fresh garlic and dried thyme….
…and topped that with a can of garlic diced tomatoes with the juice.
Then I carefully poured a can of beer over the top and around the sides into the dish. (*Don’t worry, these will not end up tasting like beer! The enzymes in beer act as a natural meat tenderizer and works beautifully for tough cuts of meat such as this.)
I covered the dish and popped it all into the oven to bake for 3 hours. *Halfway through I turned the meat and added a bay leaf! But you can add it right from the start if you want.
Aaaaaand, I had the same look on my face as you probably do now. That dish is NEVER going to come clean!!!
But much to my surprise, it did. EASILY!!! I’ll let you know the secret in just a sec!
But just look how tender they are!! The meat is totally tender and falling off the bone!!
So just remove the meat to a bowl….
….and let it rest, covered, until cool enough to handle.
Now, about that dish? Just pour out the juices (and the rest of tomatoes if you don’t want to save them all), squirt a little DAWN ULTRA in the bottom, and fill it completely with hot water.
The mess will literally WIPE OFF LIKE BUTTER after soaking!!! (WHEW!! I really was worried!) But it worked like a miracle!
So, back to our burger!
While the meat is cooling, stir together the easy, spicy, chunky, pizza sauce….
….break up the ground beef, sausage, and dried fennel seed into a bowl….
….and gently combine the meats until well mixed but not over-mixed! We’re not making paté that will end up to be hard-as-a-rock burgers.
Then form them into large, thick patties. I only made 4 patties, a half of a pound each *before cooking*, but you can certainly make them smaller.
We had extra-large kaiser rolls, so I had to make them humungous to match the size of the bread!
Season them on the outside with both coarse ground and regular black pepper, and place them onto a hot griddle, frying each side until browned.
They will not be done inside, so for this burger, due to the sausage, we need to place them onto a rack placed over a foil-lined baking sheet, and pop them into the oven for 15 – 20 minutes to finish cooking all the way through.
While those are baking, add a few handfuls of arugula into a bowl, and toss with very thinly sliced fresh fennel, salt pepper and fresh-grated parmesan cheese.
Do not add the wet ingredients to the “salad” until just before assembling your burger, so that the delicate leaves won’t wilt and get mushy-slimy.
When the burgers are done, it’s time to rock!
Top them with a nice amount of pizza sauce….
…then a big hand full of shredded (or sliced) cheese.
I first thought to use a mozzarella-provolone blend, but with everything going on, I was afraid that the mild cheese wouldn’t have enough flavor and would get lost.
So I decided to go for the good stuff, and added one of my favorites, Cabot’s Shredded Sharp Vermont Cheddar!! And that was PERFECT.
I broiled the burgers until the cheese was melty and lightly browned.
Next, I buttered the insides of the buns, top and bottom, with Minerva Dairy’s Garlic Herb Butter, and piled the top buns with more shredded cheese, to make it taste like “garlic cheesy bread”!
Because, I mean, seriously, that one layer of cheese was not going to be NEAR enough cheese on that big burger for these cheeseheads!!
I ran those under the broiler until lightly toasted and melty, too!
I then added EVOO and fresh squeezed lemon juice to the salad, gave it a quick toss, and piled it onto the burgers!
Next goes that incredibly tasty, thick, juicy, tender burger!!!
Then some fried salami….
…some fried peperoni…
…a nice pile of pulled beef short ribs….
…and two slices of crisp-cooked and peppered, thick-cut bacon!!
Place that garlic & herb cheesy bun on top, pour yourself a beer, and….
You really truly are in for an INCREDIBLE burger experience!!
These Ultimate Meat Lovers Pizza Burgers are in a category all by themselves. One of THE BEST burgers of all time.
Be prepared. For greatness. And as always, ENJOY!!!!
For Short Ribs:
- 2 lbs. beef short ribs, patted dry and seasoned with regular and coarse ground black pepper
- 4 Tbl. Minerva Dairy Amish Butter
- 2 extra large garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 can french onion soup
- 1 can beef consommé
- 1 can diced garlic tomatoes (with the juice)
- 1 can beer (any kind, extra light to dark depending on how strong of a beer flavor you enjoy)
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 large bay leaf
For Spicy Pizza Sauce:
- 1 can stewed tomatoes, hand crushed with the juice
- 1 (6 oz.) can roasted garlic tomato paste
- a few dashes each of dried oregano and basil, salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp. sriracha
- 1/2 tsp. hot asian-style chili paste
- 1 lb. hot ground breakfast-style sausage
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 2 tsp. dried fennel seed
- coarse ground black pepper
- 1 - 2 bags Cabot Vermont Sharp Shredded Cheddar Cheese
For Fennel & Lemon Arugula Salad:
- 4 cups or more fresh arugula
- thinly sliced fresh fennel bulb, peeled and rinsed
- fresh squeezed lemon juice and EVOO to lightly coat
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh-grated parmesan cheese to taste
Rest of Ingredients:
- 4 hamburger or kaiser rolls, split, buttered and broiled
- Minerva Dairy Garlic & Herb Butter, softened or melted (for buns)
- more shredded white cheddar
- 16 thin slices fried salami, 4 per burger folded in half overlapping
- 16 thin slices fried pepperoni, 4 per burger folded in half overlapping
- pulled short ribs, (recipe up top)
- 8 crisp-cooked and peppered bacon slices
For Short Ribs: Preheat oven to 325º F. Melt butter in large frying pan over medium-high heat, and season outside of ribs with pepper. Sear ribs on all sides, remove and add to a dutch oven. Add rest of ingredients, cover, and for bake 3 hours, turning once halfway through, until fall off the bone tender. (*This can be done the day before.) Pull meat from bones and place into a bowl, cover, and set aside. (Or refrigerate until needed later.)
For Spicy Pizza Sauce: In medium bowl, add stewed tomatoes crushing to break up with your hand. (Plus the juice.) Add tomato paste, stirring in, and add rest of ingredients. Place into a small saucepan and heat until just simmering. Simmer 1 - 2 minutes, remove from heat. Set aside.
For Burgers: Preheat oven to 350º F.
In large bowl, crumble in ground beef and sausage alternating to mix, sprinkling in dried fennel seeds as you go. Lightly mix with hands and form into 4 thick, large patties, slightly larger than your buns. Season tops with coarse ground black pepper and regular pepper well. Heat frying pan, and place patties seasoned-side down onto pan. Season tops. Fry each side until browned, remove to a woven oven-proof rack placed over a baking sheet, and bake until done through. (About 15 -20 minutes.) Top with spoonfuls of pizza sauce, top with cheese, and broil or bake until cheese has melted.
On flat griddle, place slices of salami and pepperoni, folded in half and overlapping, and fry until just lightly toasted on bottom. Turn over and fry other side. Set aside.
For Fennel & Lemon Arugula Salad: While burgers are baking, toss together arugula, fennel, salt, pepper and parmesan. When ready to use, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice and drizzle a little EVOO over, and toss again.
For Buns: Spread all insides with softened garlic & herb butter. Pile TOPS with more shredded cheese and broil all until bottoms are lightly toasted and cheese on the tops have melted. Watch so that nothing burns.
To Assemble Each Burger: (in order):
toasted bottom bun
pile of salad
sauce and cheese topped burger
pile of (warmed) pulled short ribs
2 strips bacon
more sauce, optional
cheesy garlic herb bun top
Assemble burgers, serve with knives, lots of napkins, a few friends, many beers, and enjoy!!