Classic Cheese Burger with a Special Sauce

I have a weakness for a good cheeseburger. Most of the time my go to is a bacon cheeseburger, but there are times that I crave just a simple, tasty cheeseburger. There’s nothing fancy about it, but it’s really all about the patty, the cheese and the bun right? This classic cheeseburger definitely satisfies those cravings.

The secret to a great hamburger is the most important item…the beef. I like to use ground beef that is 80% lean and 20% fat ratio. The fat in the beef is what makes the flavor. I wanted to keep it simple and just used salt and pepper, then patties are cooked in a cast iron pan until the edges are a little crispy, but that sweet spot in the middle is still nice and juicy. Then there is the melted provolone and cheddar cheese, pickles and then it’s topped with a special burger sauce. This sauce combines the usual condiments… mayo, ketchup, mustard and a few other tasty ingredients that make this mouthwatering burger complete. All of this on a nice sesame seed bun. Now I really want a cheeseburger.

Here’s what you need to make your own:

For the Burger

*1 to 1 1/2 lb ground beef

*sliced provolone and cheddar cheese or any other cheese that you prefer

*salt and pepper to taste

*sesame seed hamburger buns

For the Special Sauce:

*1/4 cup mayonnaise

*2 TBS ketchup

* 2 tsp mustard

*1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

* 1 tsp onion powder

*1 tsp garlic powder

*1/2 tsp dried dill weed

In a small bowl mix all of the ingredients together for the special burger sauce.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Form the ground beef into 4 patties. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat a cast iron pan to medium high heat. When the pan is very hot add in the patties.

cook for about 3 minutes then flip them over and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes more.

Top with the cheese and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for another minute or until the cheese is melted.

Place on the hamburger buns and top with the special sauce.

Serve and enjoy!


Shaved Steak Sandwiches with Sautéed Whiskey Onions and A Special Sauce

This steak sandwich is going to be your new go to. It’s piled high with tender, flavorful shaved steak, caramelized onions with a hint of whiskey, melted provolone and topped with a special sauce that has just the right amount of kick to it, all nestled between a lightly toasted sesame seed bun. Another high score for this amazing sandwich is that you wont spend a long time in the kitchen to put this baby together.

Hubby loves to get steak subs when we go out to sandwich places. I really don’t get them as much as he does, but I really wanted to try to make my own and jazz them up a bit. They can get a bit boring. I know, some of you cheesesteak lovers out there just gasped and felt a little wronged, but you have to admit there are a lot of great ones out there and there are a lot of the same run of the mill ones also. For this I used pre shaved steak to save time, but not the taste of course. If you can’t find good quality shaved steak, you can ask your butcher or meat department at your local grocery store to shave some nice ribeye or sirloin steaks for you. You can also cut the steak yourself. Wrap the steaks in plastic wrap and freeze 1 to 2 hours before preparing. This really helps in getting that thin cut of meat. Also, be sure to cut against the grain to insure tender meat. You will not get the same texture as the shaved steak, but the flavors will still be there.

Here’s what you need to make your own shaved steak sandwich:

For The Steak

*1 to 1 1/2 lbs shaved steak

*salt and pepper to taste

*2 tsp. or more to taste Penzey’s Beef Roast Seasoning

This is a seasoning I use a lot for roasts, beef tips and even meatballs. But you do not have to use this instead you can use:

*1tsp. onion powder + 1 tsp. garlic powder

*1 TBS canola oil

*sturdy sesame sandwich buns

*softened butter

*sliced provolone cheese

For The onions

*1 medium onion chopped

*1 TBS butter

*1 tsp. brown sugar

*1 1/2 TBS whiskey

*1/4 tsp dried Thyme or more to taste

*Pinch of salt

For The Special Sauce

*1/4 cup mayonnaise

*1 TBS Dijon mustard

*1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder or more to taste

*1/2 tsp onion powder

*1/2 tsp garlic powder

*1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

*salt to taste

Take shaved steak out of the refrigerator and dry with paper towels if needed and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt, pepper and beef roast seasoning (or onion powder and garlic powder). Toss well until the steak is lightly coated in the seasonings. Let it sit out for 20 minutes before cooking so the beef will come to room temperature.

For the Whiskey Onions:

In a small sauce pot add the butter and heat to medium high heat. When the butter is melted add in the onions, brown sugar, whiskey, Thyme and salt. Stir to combine and turn the heat to medium.

Cook for about 20 to 30 minutes stirring occasionally until the onions start to turn a golden caramel color.

For the Special Sauce:

Combine mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, chipotle chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Spread a thin layer of the softened butter on each slice of the sandwich buns.

Toast in the oven or in a toaster oven; set aside

In a cast iron pan add the canola oil and heat to medium high. When the pan is searing hot add in the beef in a single layer. It’s ok if some of the steak overlaps.

cook for about 3 minutes then flip the beef over and cook for another 2 minutes.

The beef does not take long to cook so be sure not to over cook or it will not be as tender.

Spoon the steak on the bottom half of each sandwich bun and place a slice or two of the cheese. Next add some of those delicious whiskey sautéed onions over the cheese, then top with the special sauce. Place the top half of the sandwich bun over the sauce and serve.