Spike Mendelsohn of Top Chef fame came through for us yesterday with his Smokehouse burger recipe, the People's Choice award winner for 2009. Today we've got Michael Symon's kickass Fat Doug Burger, last year's winner. Unfortunately we don't have room to share his formula for 'slaw and ShaSha sauce, but you can find them in the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, $35) if you're really desperate. Or you can beg us to share it. We accept bribes, too.
Here's Symon's insights on what we can expect from him at this year's Burger Bash:
New Times: What will you be serving up this year?
Michael Symon: We will definitely continue our meat on meat theme. Last year pastrami brought us victory, this year salami will reign supreme!
What do you think is the secret to winning Burger Bash?
You have to take some chances.
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What specific side goes best with a burger?
I love a great shake with my burger... and pork fat fries!!
Use great beef and cook it medium rare.
Michael Symon's Fat Doug Burger
½ lb. ground sirloin
½ lb. ground brisket
½ lb. ground boneless short rib or
1½ lbs. ground beef (75 percent lean & 25 percent fat or 80 percent lean & 20 percent fat)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ lb. pastrami, thinly sliced
4 slices Swiss cheese, medium thick
1½ Tbs. butter, melted
4 brioche or egg buns, split
Coleslaw (recipe found in the book)
ShaSha Sauce (recipe found in the book)
Directions: Build a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill. On a work surface, combine the meats and form the burgers into 4 equal-size patties. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Grill the burgers over high heat, 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until medium-rare. Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Place 4 heaping piles of pastrami in the pan. After 2 minutes, top each pile with a slice of Swiss cheese. Remove them when the cheese is melted; set aside. Pour the butter into the pan. Place the buns in the pan, cut side down, and toast about 2 minutes. Place a heaping tablespoon of the slaw on the bottom half of each bun. Top with a burger and a mound of pastrami and cheese. Cover each with the top half of the bun, and serve immediately.