Chef Bud Taylor
The Bistro at Topsail
Surf City, N.C.
Blended burgers are coming on to more menus, as chefs experiment with a mix of chopped mushrooms and ground meat to make a juicier, lower-fat and more sustainable patty. At The Bistro at Topsail, chef Taylor combines three parts grass-fed beef to one part mushroom confit to create the Goomba Burger. He completes the build with lemongrass aioli, smoked shiitake mushrooms and brioche buns.
Wild mushroom confit
2 lb. assorted wild mushrooms (portobello, shiitake and/or oyster), sliced into ¼-in. thick strips
3 large sprigs rosemary
Handful of fresh thyme
6 garlic cloves, peeled
3 shallots, quartered
1 tbsp. kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil
1 lemongrass stalk, cut into pieces
½ cup canola oil
1 large egg yolk
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
1 tsp. sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. cracked black pepper
Smoked shiitake "bacon"
1 lb. shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper, toaste
1½ lb. grass-fed ground beef
½ lb. wild mushroom confit
4 slices Havarti cheese
4 brioche or other soft burger buns
4 heirloom tomato slices
1. Prepare mushroom confit: Combine assorted mushrooms, rosemary, thyme, garlic, shallots and salt in half hotel pan; cover with extra virgin olive oil. Cover pan with plastic wrap, then foil, sealing tightly.
2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Cook mushroom mixture in oven for 2 hours or until mushrooms are soft. Cool mixture; finely chop half the mushrooms and coarsely chop the remaining half. Set aside.
3. Prepare lemongrass aioli: In saucepan, combine lemongrass and oil; bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let oil infuse with lemongrass for 20 minutes.
4. Strain oil using a fine-mesh sieve. In blender, combine egg yolk and remaining aioli ingredients; blend until pureed. Slowly add infused oil in steady stream; blend until mixture forms a thick, velvety aioli. Set aside in refrigerator.
5. Prepare smoked shiitake "bacon": In large bowl, toss sliced mushrooms with enough olive oil to coat well. Toss with salt and pepper; transfer to baking sheet.
6. Preheat oven to 275 F. Place baking sheet in oven. Roast about 1 hour until mushrooms are crispy and brown, stirring every 5 to 7 minutes. (The shiitakes take on a smoky, umami flavor when slowly roasted.)
7. Prepare burgers: Mix ground beef with mushroom confit. Form into 8-ounce patties. Season patties on both sides with salt and pepper. Place on very hot grill and cook until medium-rare, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Top with cheese and cook until cheese melts.
8. To serve, toast buns and spread top and bottom with 1 to 2 tablespoons lemongrass aioli. Add a grilled burger to bottom bun; top with smoked shiitake bacon, baby arugula, heirloom tomato slice and top bun.
Photo courtesy of The Mushroom Council