One of my foodie dreams is to get a taste of authentic Texas-Style BBQ, but for now I’ll settle for this cheeseburger with a tangy Texas-inspired sauce!
Writing about the food spots in my San Francisco throwback has reminded me of a couple of my USA-related foodie dreams: first, going on a food trip in New Orleans; and then there’s getting a taste of authentic Texas BBQ. It’s really hard to fit a trip to America without having to go on an extended leave of absence from adult life (lol) so these two things pretty much remain dreams for now.
The problem is, every time I surf the net and see things connected to these two things, my appetite comes alive. That’s basically what happened to me when I came across these Texas-Style BBQ Cheeseburgers. Naturally, I got into the mood of making them.
There was a time when the Philippine food scene was all about burgers. Since burgers are one of my guilty pleasures, it’s nice to know that I now have a lot of options. It’s pretty challenging to make them myself though. I clearly have a lot to learn about making burgers, but I’m glad these turned out well.
This burger today is a HUGE improvement over the ones I made before, mostly because I really went ahead and added all the necessary layers. Slathering on lotsa homemade BBQ Sauce obviously helped too.
So I’ll give you a quick peek into the process of making these, starting with the Brioche Buns. You don’t necessarily have to make your own buns for these Texas-Style BBQ Cheeseburgers, but this is part of the fun for me.
I came across the recipe for these buns from Half-Baked Harvest, and the golden appearance of them really grabbed my attention. The recipe comes together pretty easily using a combination of flour and cornmeal plus honey, so the buns are lightly sweet.
To be honest with you, I wasn’t the biggest fan of these brioche buns on their own. They were grainy and didn’t really taste as good as I expected BUT they were pretty dang good with the burger. They will absorb the sauce you spread on them without turning soggy, and I find this helps to tie the flavors of the burger together nicely.
The sauce is an easy Worcestershire-based mixture. I finally got to use the bottle Lea and Perrins Philippines sent me a long time ago. (Thanks for the loot!) The sauce has a nice tang but I would’ve wanted a bit more smokiness and kick next time, so maybe I’ll add more chipotle peppers to the sauce in the future.
Moving on, the patties are straightforward beef patties seasoned with salt and pepper. Out of curiosity, I also decided to spread this coffee rub on them to see what difference it would make in flavor.
This is something I have to explore a bit more in the future since I couldn’t really sense anything different aside from a tickle from all those herbs. It’s probably because the Texas-Style BBQ Sauce steals the show in these burgers. Tasty!
Just a little tidbit for you: These will taste better once the burgers have had time to sit and soak in all that BBQ Sauce. Also, if you want your cheese to be nice and melty, place it on top of your patty about a minute before you take them off the heat. I’m super excited to make more burgers in the future. 🙂
Texas BBQ Cheeseburgers with Honey Cornbread Brioche
For the buns
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 ¾ cups yellow cornmeal*
- 1 ½ tablespoons instant yeast
- Pinch of salt
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup warm water
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water, for egg wash
- Toasted sesame seeds
For the Barbecue Sauce
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold is fine
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup tomato ketchup
- ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup fresh lime or lemon juice
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Coffee Rub
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee, or freshly ground
- 2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 kilogram ground beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 slices bacon
- 8 slices cheese
- 8 to asted hamburger rolls
- Onions, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, and other burger add-ons you might like
Make the buns
- 1. In a large bowl, whisk together the bread flour, yellow cornmeal, instant yeast, and salt. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture to make crumbs. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the beaten egg and honey until a rough dough forms.
- 2. Scrape out the dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead by scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it repeatedly, until fairly smooth and elastic. It will take about 10 minutes by hand, so you can also use a stand mixer fitted with t dough hook to finish in half the time. The dough will be a bit sticky but try not to add more flour once the dough has come together fully and is nice and elastic. (You want it sticky so that it will be soft once baked.)
- 3. Shape dough into a bowl and transfer to a lightly greased large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in size, one to two hours.
- 4. Meanwhile, line two large baking sheet with parchment paper. Once dough has risen, punch down and scrape out onto your work surface. Shape into a large rectangle to make it easier to divide into 8 equal portions. (Or 16 equal balls for sliders.) Gently roll each piece of dough into a ball and place about 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap or damp kitchen towel, and allow to rise again in a warm place for one to two hours, or until doubled.
- 5. About 20 minutes toward the end of the second rising time, place a large shallow pan of water on the bottom rack of your oven and preheat to 400°F (205°C).
- 6. Once buns have risen, beat brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the buns for about 15 minutes (or 8 to 10 minutes if making sliders), until golden brown. Turn the sheet halfway through baking to ensure even cooking. Cool completely and use within the next two days.
Make the barbecue sauce
- 7. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until melted. Next, cook the garlic just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire, citrus juice, chipotle pepper, and cayenne pepper.
- 8. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced to around 1 1/3 cups. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool before using. (If not using immediately, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)
Prepare the burger patties
- 9. Prepare the coffee rub by stirring all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. (If not using immediately, cover and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.)
- 10. Season the ground beef with salt and pepper, then divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each into a patty about 1/2-inch thick, 4 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the rub evenly over both sides of each patty, using your fingers to gently spread it on the entire surface of the patty. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
Assemble the burgers
- 11. Take out the burger from the fridge. Use your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each patty to keep them from puffing and swelling in the center as they cook. Heat up the grill to medium high, or just use a skillet with a bit of hot oil. Cook the burgers on both sides for about 2 to 3 minutes, then add a slice of cheese on top of the patty right before you take it out of the pan or grill. You want to melt the cheese a little bit. Transfer to a plate. (You can keep the patties warm inside the oven if you want.)
- 12. Slice the brioche open, toast if you wish, and spread a bit of barbecue sauce on both halves. Here's how I liked to build this particular burger, because I wanted the patty to really soak up the barbecue sauce: I placed the patty with cheese on the bottom slice of brioche, then drizzled a bit more of the barbecue sauce on top. Then I layered the tomatoes, lettuce, and onions on top of that, before finally sealing it with the top portion of the brioche. (You might want to use a toothpick to hold the burger together.)
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