Family Meal

by Chef David Ferguson




Filtering by Tag: caramelized onions

Grass Fed Burger with Aged Cheddar, Caramelized Onion, Spinach, Dijonaise, & Fried Egg on Toasted Brioche

Prep time:  10 mins    Cook Time:  30 min    Serves: 4

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After far too much rain, it’s time to get back outside and enjoy some nicer weather.  To that end, you can’t beat a great hamburger off the grill.  Like all recipes, a hamburger is a sum of it’s parts.   If you invest extra time and effort  in some basic technique and splurge on some more indulgent ingredients, you will be rewarded with a superior burger.  

Hamburgers are usually made from ground chuck with a certain blend of lean meat and fat.  This blend is represented in a proportion, usually printed on the package. The higher the fat percentage, the more flavor the hamburger is going to have. For this recipe, I would recommend an 80/20 blend of lean to fat.  This is the typical blend most restaurants use and it provides great flavor.  You could of course use a leaner blend like a 90/10, if you are attempting to get into beach shape

Picking a good cheese to compliment the rest of your ingredients is important, and here you will see the benefit of spending a little extra cash.  A sharp aged cheddar adds a nuttiness and a depth of flavor that will elevate everything else.  

Caramelized onions can’t be rushed, otherwise you are just searing them.  Low heat and time are the only way to go. Slice the onions about an ⅛ of an inch thick, this will help to keep them from burning after so much time on heat.  You should start the onions in a cold pan over low heat, stirring occasionally, and deglazing the pan with water, stock,  or even beer.  The onions will absorb any liquid you put into the pan and add even more flavor. The longer you cook the onions, the more the inherent sweetness will come out.  

A fried egg makes everything better.  Hamburger are no exception.  I would suggest a sunny side up or over easy egg, just make sure you have plenty of napkins.



  • 1 lb 80/20 grass fed ground beef; 4 ¼  lb patties
  • 8 oz aged extra sharp cheddar cheese; sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion; sliced ⅛” thick
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato; sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • ¼ cup mayo
  • ⅓ cup dijon mustard
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 brioche buns
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


Preheat grill on high heat.  Season hamburgers liberally with salt and pepper and set aside.  Put sliced onions in a large saute pan with vegetable oil and set over low to medium low heat.  Allow onions to cook and slowly pick up color.  When the onions begin to stick to the pan, deglaze with a tbsp or two of liquid (any liquid will work, water, stock, beer, etc…) and continue to let onions cook.  Cook onions until they are a very soft and a deep golden brown.

Whisk together mayo and Dijon mustard for Dijonaise in a mixing bowl, then set aside

Push a small dent into the middle of each patty.  While this may seem odd, it prevents the hamburgers from swelling in the middle as they cook.  Cook the hamburgers for 4-5 minutes before flipping.  Once flipped, dress the hamburger first with tomato, then the caramelized onions, then with the aged cheddar.  Melting the cheese over the tomato and onions will help keep them toppings in place. Grill burgers until the cheese has melted and allow to rest while you finish the rest of your preparations.

Melt butter in a large saute pan and toast the brioche buns over medium heat on both sides.  Set aside and then return the pan to medium-high heat with the 2 tbsp olive oil.  Once the pan is hot, fry your eggs one or two at a time, whatever you are comfortable working with.  Season the eggs with salt and pepper before assembling your burger.  

Dress the top and bottom bun with the Dijonaise before adding your burger, then topping with fried egg and spinach.