Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cooking With Booze: Steamed Hams

What's a blog without pop culture referencing?

There are those in our fair city that live without the luxury of a deck or porch. While this is not a lifestyle choice of which I approve (I'm wagging my finger in a fatherly way right now), this should not deprive them of their right to ridiculously delicious burgers. So fear not, intrepid shut-ins, I've found a way for you to turn your stovetop into a steam-billowing short order diner line.

Oh, and if the whole "Steamed Hams" reference is throwing you, I suggest you click here and join the rest of us. Frankly, I'm surprised it took us this long to shoehorn in a Simpsons reference.

Cartoons aside, I'd also read a story from Gourmet editor Sara Moulton about her first job cooking, where they took a burger covered with mushrooms, onions, and cheese and steamed it with beer. I didn't have a griddle and a big-ass metal bowl, but I did have a skillet and more than enough beer to do the job.

The Setup

(Makes 2 burgers - double it for 4. Yay, math!)

- 1/2 lb ground chuck
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Coarse-grained salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 c diced white onion
- 4 sliced mushrooms (Whatever kind you'd like. I bought a pack of Essex Kent mushrooms. They were on sale.)
- 1 jalapeno, quartered and diced
- 8 olives, diced
- 1/4 c grated white cheddar
- 1/4 c crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 c dark ale (I used Half Acre's Over Ale)
- 2 buns, toasted or steamed


1. Combine the ground chuck, mustard, and Worcestershire. Season with salt and black pepper.

2. Divide beef and form into thin 1/4 lb patties.

3. Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet to medium.

4. Add onions to pan, cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes.

5. Raise heat to medium hi and add mushrooms. Cook another 4-5 minutes, until the mushrooms are browned and glossy.

6. Season the onion/mushroom mix with salt and pepper, and remove to a bowl. Wipe out the skillet.

7. Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil to the skillet, heat to medium-high.

I did just one burger at a time - you know, for illustrative purposes. And because I don't own a very big skillet.

8. When oil is heated, add burgers to the skillet and cook 3 minutes.

9. Flip and cook another 2 minutes.

10. Add the toppings to burgers - onion/mushroom mix, jalepenos, and cheddar on one, and onion/mushroom, olives, and feta on the other.

11. Add beer to the skillet. Cover and steam for 3 minutes, until cheese is melted.

The beer gave its' life for deliciousness.

12. Put onto buns and enjoy your mouth-watering steamed hams.

Serve with beer

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