rosemary infused beef burgers : bacon : mushrooms : pickled potatoes

I’m still out on vacation but today is my day off… from exploring my surroundings that is, I don’t want to get in the car again today, yesterday I spent most of the day driving (12 hours) and as beautiful as it was and as great as my rental car is, I need one day to recharge. I also miss my blog, and I’ve been working on a few entries at the same time, but making slow progress, I’ve also been organizing photos from the trip, cropping, photoshop, this and that.. all of that in between beers and beach breaks. Anyways, When I arrived to the Big Island, the first thing I did was getting some groceries since I have access to a kitchen here, and one of the things I bought was a pound ground beef. It’s been “aging” in my fridge for 3 days, I figured it was time to turn it into something edible.

I have actually never made burgers before that I can remember, maybe once… the ones that come in the package ready for the grill? yep, I’ve been that guy… but no more!  watching Bobby Flay making beef burgers on kitchen stadium last night, yes, on tv…  that was the inception moment, when I got up this morning, I new exactly what was gonna happen to that ground meat. This is a fairly rich meal not for the faint of heart, literally. I took the risk and it was worth it, so delicious!!!!!

yep, rosemary

Rosemary has to be one of my favorite herbs, it just makes everything taste so fragrant and pairs greatly with meat, too much of it though can ruin a meal, just like abusing anything really, except for bacon some would say, and I would have … I guess I would have to totally agree. I eat it in moderation though, specially when no one is looking 😉 The mushrooms are saucy, rich, and the pickled potatoes bring  sharpness into the dish. I didn’t use any aromatics or garlic or any spices, kept it extremely simple. Ok, I used bacon…, here is what I did:

Serves: 3-4 people
Total time: 1 hour

coarsely chopped rosemary, you guessed it


non stick pan
cutting board
paper towels
mixing bowl
sauce pan
microwave safe container


1 pound ground beef, about 20% fat, B.Flay’s recommendation.
2 eggs (I think 1 egg and a half would have been perfect)
2-3 springs of rosemary
parsley for garnishing
4-5 bacon, cut slices in half lengthwise (you don’t have to)
2-3 bread slices, stale or fresh, you can always dry it
1 pound of white mushrooms (that’s what I had)
2 medium waxy potatoes
butter as needed
olive oil as needed
white vinegar as needed
heavy cream as needed
water as needed
salt and pepper as needed

ah, some stale bread


01: brown mushrooms in some bacon fat, olive oil and some butter, add salt and pepper
02: when mushrooms are browned remove from heat, add some heavy cream
03: if mushrooms have too much liquid, return to heat and reduce until saucy (nappe)
04: render rosemary tea, chop it finely and add it to a couple of tsp of water, boil for 2 mins
05: remove rosemary tea from heat, let cool

place chopped rosemary in some boiling water
after a few minutes, you get rosemary tea

06: crush stale bread or if fresh bread, dehydrate in microwave
07: if MW oven dehydrating, 2 -3 minutes on high power

bread crumbs… not dirt

08: if normal oven dehydrating, 10-15 mins at 300F
09: mix bread crumbs in the rosemary tea, let it soak

mix bread crumbs with the rosemary extract

10: in a mixing bowl, meat, eggs, and rosemary bread crumbs, salt and pepper
11: mix well

I almost ate this straight from the bowl…
mix rosemary infused crumbs with the meat mix
centrifuge at 30,000 rpm… nah, just a long exposure shot of the bowl spinning, just stir everything with a spoon or with your hands

12: place mix in the freezer to allow it to harden a bit, easier to work
13: place bacon in freezer to harden for about 5 mins, it will be easy to slice
14: cut bacon in half lengthwise
15: place bacon on paper towels, some water will be drawn, pat dry
16: slice potatoes in rounds, about 5 mm thick
17: place potato slices in a container, add 2/3 water 1/3 vinegar, salt and pepper, spring of parsley
18: microwave for about 15 minutes or boil on stove for about 7-10 minutes, until fork tender
19: while potatoes are cooking, make the beef patties
20: don’t overwork or compress the patties much, B. Flay says…
21: wrap a slice of bacon around each burger

they look pretty sexy, dont they

22: press with your thumb down the center of each burger on both sides
23: this way when the burger expands, is flat on each side and cooks evenly *
24: add about 3-4mm of olive oil to the non stick pan
25: heat pan on medium high, don’t let oil smoke
26: place patties on the pan, 2-3 minutes per side until browned and bacon is crispy

fry on one side
fry on the other side

27: a little pink in the middle is what you want, don’t over cook **
28: plate and garnish, add salt and pepper as needed

* The idea here is, if you place a flat patty on the pan, the meat will expand (bulge)and eventually it wont lay flat over the pan, uneven cooking. By pressing slightly with your thumb down the center of each patty, you counter the bulging. Even cooking.

** cook to about 60C-63C  at the core, use a probe thermometer!


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  1. Nothin’ like a well-prepared burger, no matter where you find yourself. Great idea, Paul, using bread soaked in rosemary tea to get flavor into the burger and keep the burger moist. I must admit, I saw the pic, read it was a centrifuge, and then read it again, thinking “First sous-vide and now centrifuges!” Yeah, you got me. 🙂
    This is a great post, Paul, and I’m glad you finally had a little time to tour the island a bit. Glad to have you back, too!

    1. John! I’m glad you liked my last post! I had a lot of fun putting it together. Sorry about the centrifuge thing 🙂 I took the photo and then I thought… I could make anything up hahah. One day I’ll get a centrifuge. Btw, I did make that beef tongue “ragu”, but I didn’t document it, I will make it again and take photos and post it. It was delicious. It is interesting how it takes like a blend between tuna, liver and beef… all which I love, super rich 🙂 The base of the tongue yields the most succulent meat, it melts in the mouth, the tip takes longer to break down but has a stronger gamy flavor, both cuts could be used independently.

        1. haven’t but my suspicion is that it helps infuse the scent more effectively and evenly… but as usual, you have me thinking, because by steeping the rm, the phenol could have an easier way to evaporate and flavor might be lost more rapidly when applying heat. At the same time, I’m thinking, more phenol can be released by steeping hence intensifying the rm aromas/flavor, should test though.

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