There is nothing quite so satisfying when you are ravenously hungry like a great hamburger. After a race or a long run, when I am dripping with sweat and my muscles are screaming for an energy refill, I crave nothing more than a big, juicy burger. Preferably grilled over a hot flame, with melted cheese and other great, flavourful toppings. And no bun. Even before I came to the low carbing way of life, the bun of a burger was almost irrelevant to me. It was simply the vehicle for getting the meat, cheese and other accoutrement to my mouth. If the burger was juicy enough, as it should be, the bun always fell apart by the end anyway and I removed at least half of it on a regular basis. Bread and buns are just filler, and they often filled me up so much I couldn’t enjoy the burger insides as much as I wanted to. So I would pull my burgers out of my buns and ate them with a knife and fork. I did similar things to sandwiches like Reubens -it was always the corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and sauce I was after anyway. The rye bread was good for a few bites, but after that, it simply got in the way of enjoying the insides.
Yes, my friends, I am a sandwich and burger disembowler. I take out the meaty, cheesy goodness and I cast aside the empty shell of bread. And I am afraid I can’t blame diabetes for that little habit…it was something I always did anyway. That’s not to say that I was a bread-hater. No, no, a good crusty piece of Italian dipped in olive oil and salt will always hold a special place in my heart, even if I can’t eat it anymore. But to me, bread was never the point of the sandwich or the burger, and since I’ve always disliked feeling overly full after a meal, I would discard much of the bread so I could finish all the delicious fillings.
However, it’s hard to serve up just a plain burger without a bun. It looks really, really lonely there on the plate, all by itself or with a few measly sides. It just doesn’t seem like it will be enough to satisfy. Unless. Unless you know that the burger itself is stuffed with some amazing goodies that will spill out onto your plate as you cut into it, all melty and gooey, hot from the grill. Ah yes, the revelation of the stuffed burger, a meal unto itself, no bun required.
I think Brie and caramelized onions are a match made in heaven, and I am often trying to find ways to pair them up. When I mentioned this idea to my husband, of putting them together in a burger, his eyes lit up. I believe he may even have salivated there on the spot. I know I did. But as I was putting them together, I felt like the burger still needed something to top it. I contemplated an aioli or a mustard sauce of some sort, but it just didn’t seem right. I wanted something that complemented the flavour of the beef and the fillings without adding too significant a flavour on its own. Mushrooms, lightly sauteed in butter…just the thing.