Rebecca Bent | Burgers: 50 Recipes Celebrating an American Classic | Clarkson Potter, 2004 | Serves 4
The famous Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas is often referred to as the birthplace of innovative Southwestern cuisine, thanks to the tireless efforts of chef Dean Fearing, whose signature dishes—like his lobster taco and tortilla soup—are admired and imitated far and wide. If you can’t make it to the Mansion, you can at least feast on this distinctive, formidable double cheeseburger and find out how Chef Fearing earned the distinction of being named one of America’s best new chefs by Food & Wine. —Rebecca Bent
For the onion rings
5 cups peanut oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Several grinds fresh black pepper
1 Spanish onion, peeled and sliced into very thin rings, preferably using a mandoline
1 Red onion, peeled and sliced into very thin rings, preferably using a mandoline
For the burgers
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (to season grill or skillet)
2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 slices American cheese
4 Burger buns, halved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
8 iceberg lettuce leaves, washed and dried
4 1/2-inch-thick slices ripe tomato
4 1/2-inch-thick slices yellow onion
16 dill pickle chips
Dean Fearing’s Tobacco Onion Rings
Ketchup, for serving
Make the onion rings
1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Heat the oil in a deep-sided saucepan until it measures 350°F (175°C) on a candy or deep-fry thermometer.
2. In a shallow bowl, blend the flour, cayenne, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Separate the onion rings and dredge in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
3. Carefully place in the hot oil, a few at a time, making sure they don’t stick together. Fry for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain briefly on paper towels. Place on a warm platter and keep warm in the low oven until all the onions are fried. Serve immediately.
Make the burgers
1. Wipe down a grill or a well-seasoned flat griddle with the olive oil, or use a large nonstick saute pan and pre-heat over a medium-high flame.
2. Gently form the ground beef into eight 4-ounce burgers, each about 1/2 inch thick. Season with the salt and pepper. Cook the burgers over medium-high heat until medium-rare: 4 minutes per side on the grill, 4 1/2 minutes per side in a skillet (see Note).
3. Place 1 slice of the American cheese on each burger to melt, about 1 minute.
4. Meanwhile, toast the burger buns, butter them generously, and smear each of them with about 1/2 tablespoon of mayonnaise and mustard.
5. To serve, place 2 of the burgers, one on top of the other, on the bottom half of each bun. Top each stack of 2 burgers with 2 of the lettuce leaves, a slice each of tomato and onion, and 4 of the pickle chips. Top with the other half of the bun, and serve at once with Tobacco Onion Rings and ketchup.
Note: This cooking time will yield a medium-rare burger. For rare, cook 3 1/2 minutes on each side; for medium, cook about 4 1/2 minutes on each side.
Recipe © 2004 Rebecca Gareis-Bent. Photo © 2004 Ben Fink. All rights reserved.