Saint Brian’s Burger

The Saint Brian’s Burger was what started it all. In 2014, I was feeling like Saint Brian’s BBQ wasn’t going to get off of the ground in the face of all of the hurdles that exist in starting a food-based business. My wife’s uncle, Ira Gutman, owned a hot dog joint in Cherry Hill called Coll Dog Cafe where they served up deep fried gourmet, all-beef hot dogs with all sorts of toppings. He graciously offered up his kitchen for making the sauce, and made a “Saint Brian’s Burger” special that featured the rub and the sauce.

The Cool Dog isn’t there any more (Ira has since opened the Moondog Grille in the Moorestown Mall), and I’ve moved on to a professional kitchen, but the Saint Brian’s Burger is a classic that will never go away.

Use the recipe for Saint Brian’s Coleslaw and Saint Brian’s Beer Battered Onion Rings in conjunction with this recipe.

Saint Brian's Burger

Pork Recipes
Beef Recipes
Chicken Recipes
Side Dish Recipes
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Saint Brian's Burger
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Burgers
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Burgers
Ingredients
Instructions
Before making the burger
  1. Make the Saint Brian's Coleslaw, found in the Side Recipes
  2. Make some large fried onion rings, found in the Side Recipes
Making the Burger
  1. Combine the ground beef and Dash Cunning Spice Rub in a bowl, and mix with your hands. Either cook right away, or seal and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Form the burgers. When forming them, create a divot in the middle of one side. This will prevent the burger from ballooning up into a meatball shape, and also give you an indication for when it is time to flip it.
  3. Preheat your grill to high according to the manufacturer instructions. When heated, you should only be able to hold your open palm 2-3 inches from the surface for 2 seconds.
  4. Oil the grill grates.
  5. Place the burgers over direct heat, divot side up, and cook for about 5 minutes. When you see blood droplets form on the divot, and the burger releases easily from the grate with a spatula, it's time to flip. Flip the burger and cook for another 4-5 minutes. In the last 2 minutes add the cheese slices and toast the buns. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Build the burger: bun, burger, pickles, coleslaw, onion ring, sauce, bun
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Breakfast Barbecue Burger

The Saint Brian’s Breakfast Barbecue Burger is an amazing way to start a weekend of fiery cooking revelry.

Set the scene: you’ve organized a weekend campout/cookout for your friends. The sun has peaked over the horizon, night’s cool still hangs in the air, the morning mists cling to the ground. As your guests awake and emerge, the grill is already fired up and you’ve started breakfast, it’s alluring aroma mixing with coffee brewing on the fire.  Beef, sausage, avocado, egg…it’s everything you need and nothing you don’t.

The key to this dish is preparing all of the ingredients (mise en place) prior to firing up the grill. As a secondary point, being gentle with the eggs will allow for the yolks to run out all over the burger at the first bite and will really tie all of the ingredients together.

While you can use white cheddar in this recipe, it will be well-worth it to use raclette.

Pork Recipes
Beef Recipes
Chicken Recipes
Side Dish Recipes
Print Recipe
Saint Brian's Breakfast Barbecue Burger
A breakfast burger as epic as the day you will have upon eating it.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Burgers
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Burgers
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix the beef, sausage, and spice rub in a bowl. You will need to take care to break up the sausage so that it is evenly mixed throughout.
  2. Form the mixture into 2 patties, gently. Don't overwork the meat, or else you'll end up making meatloaf. Use your thumb to put a small divot in the middle of the top side of the patty. This will prevent it from puffing up and turning into a meatball, and will help alert you as to when to flip it.
  3. Put the burger patties on a screaming hot, oiled grill.
  4. If you have a side burner, start cooking your bacon. You can also do this ahead of time so you can concentrate on the burger itself.
  5. When you start to see blood droplets forming on top of the burger, it's time to flip them, about 5 minutes. The burger will release easily from the grill. If you really have to work a spatula under there, it means it's not time yet.
  6. With about 2 minutes left (you should cook the burgers about 5 minutes per side), toast the buns and melt the cheese on the burgers.
  7. Remove the burgers from the grill. Build the burgers: bacon, avocado, burger, tomato, sauce.
  8. Fry the egg in the same pan that you cooked the bacon. There should be enough grease in there to cook the egg white all of the way through without having to flip it and risk breaking the yolk. Cooking time: 1 minute on the heat, 1 minute off.
  9. Gently add the eggs to the top of the burger.
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Caveman Steak

Caveman steaks are deceptively easy to make, and have the bonus of making you look like a rock star at the fire pit.


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Caveman Steak
Steak cooked to perfection directly on hot coals.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
steak
Ingredients
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
steak
Ingredients
Instructions
Fire Prep
  1. Using a chimney starter, light natural lump charcoal. Do not use briquettes or match light!
  2. Put a layer of unlit lump charcoal at least 2" thick in your fire pit. Make sure that the pit is free of debris.
  3. When the coals in the chimney starter are lit and have turned white, carefully pour them over the unlit coals in the fire pit.
Steak Prep
  1. Sprinkle the Saint Brian's Dash Cunning Spice Rub on all sides of the steak and gently pat on. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Allow to dry marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
Cooking
  1. Remove the plastic wrap and place the steak directly on the burning coals. Cook on one side for about 5 minutes.
  2. Using a pair of long tongs, lift the steak off of the coals, and shake any loose embers off by tapping the tongs on the side of the fire pit. Flip the steak and cook on the other side for 4-5 minutes to desired doneness.
  3. Remove the steak from the coals, tapping in the same manner as before to remove any loose coals. Using a clean, dry brush (an unused paint brush or a basting brush will work) brush off any ash. Allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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Saint Brian’s Baby Back Ribs – Perfect ribs every time

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Saint Brian's Baby Back Ribs
Succulent, fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs that will please any crowd.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Passive Time 1-8 hours
Servings
people per rack
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Passive Time 1-8 hours
Servings
people per rack
Ingredients
Instructions
Prep
  1. Using a meat thermometer or table knife, work your tool under the silver skin on the bone side of the rack and remove the membrane. (See link below for the instructional video on how to do this.)
  2. Apply the spice rub to both sides and edges of the rack. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
Smoker/Grill Prep
  1. Start your smoker according to the manufacturer instructions. Preheat to 225-250 degrees F
  2. (If using a gas grill) Set up your grill for indirect heating and preheat to 225 degrees. If your grill has a smoke box, insert wood medium according to manufacturer instructions. If your grill does not have this feature, see the link below for creating your own smoke box.
Cooking
  1. Using a rib rack, position the ribs vertically with the bone side up in the smoker.
  2. If you have a water/liquid tray in the smoker, make sure to keep it filled with either water, beer, or cider. If you're smoker or grill doesn't have this, every 30-40 minutes spray the ribs with a mixture of water and cider vinegar to keep them from drying out.
  3. Maintain a temperature in the smoker between 225-250 degrees F for about 4 hours. You will know the ribs are done when the meat recedes from the bone about 1/4". Internal temperature will be at least 165 (probably higher, and that's OK). Another test is the "break" test. Pick up the ribs in the middle with a pair of tongs. The ribs should droop and almost break apart under their own weight.
  4. Allow the ribs to rest for 20 minutes, then cut them into 3 rib servings. Serve with Saint Brian's Barbecue sauce on the side for dipping.
Alternative Finish
  1. When you have 30-40 minutes remaining on the ribs, brush on a thin layer of Saint Brian's Barbecue Sauce every 5 minutes. (Note: don't put the sauce on too early, as the sugars will burn.)
Recipe Notes

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Fried ravioli filled with smoked pork belly, raclette, and apple vinaigrette

I had this idea a few months ago…just popped into my head.  I thought a ravioli stuffed with pork belly would be awesome.

The idea percolated over the next couple of weeks: it would need acid and savory flavors to balance the saltiness of the pork belly. So maybe some cheese, and an apple vinaigrette dressing.

I finally pulled the trigger today to see if my idea would work.

It started with a trip to Reading Terminal Market. I stopped by Martin’s for the pork belly, and Downtown Cheese to get some advice on which cheese I should use. I can’t recommend these guys enough, they are super knowledgeable and seem genuinely happy to share that knowledge. Definitely stop by there when you get a chance.

They recommended raclette for this, by the way.

I got some Dash Cunning Spice Rub on the pork belly and started it smoking with cherry wood.

While the meat was smoking, I made the apple vinaigrette from scratch.

Once that was wrapped up, I made the pasta for the ravioli from scratch and let it dry a bit.

Once everything was ready to go, I filled the ravioli, battered them in buttermilk (actually I added a tablespoon of white vinegar to a cup of 2% milk and created buttermilk), dredged them in breadcrumbs, and fried them in olive oil. The sound of them frying away was very satisfying.

The end result: delicious.

Fried ravioli with smoked pork belly and raclette

Smoked Pork Chops, Cherry-Chipotle Sauce, Coconut Rice with Lime and Cilantro

Chipotle-Cherry-Pork-Chop-and-Rice

This was a fun one to make. In cooking the pork, I actually used both my smoker and my gas grill, but if you have either a nice Weber or a gas grill that has the ability to smoke as well, you can stick with one kind of fuel.

Cherry Chipotle Sauce

I borrowed this one from barbecue master Steven Raichlen, so rather than reprint the entire recipe here, I’ll just give you the link. I found that using just the one chipotle pepper was enough, as two would likely overpower the cherry flavor. I also omitted the liquid smoke, as between the chipotle and smoking the chops there was enough smoke in the dish already.

Smoked Pork Chops

I used two thick, bone-in chops for this. I could have simply smoked them both for a couple of hours, but I didn’t want to wait that long (and the night I was cooking had a thunderstorm predicted, and I didn’t want to be caught in the rain).

Start by applying Saint Brian’s BBQ Dash Cunning Spice Rub to the pork chops, taking care to ensure total coverage of the meat. Wrap the chops in plastic, and allow to dry marinate for at least an hour, or as long as overnight.

I fired up my offset smoker to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and started the chops on there. After 20 minutes, I transferred them to a screaming hot grill and cooked them for about 4 minutes per side, until the internal temperature was 145 degrees* (I like my pork chops medium rare).

If you are using something like a Weber kettle, set up for indirect grilling and put the soaked wood chips onto the coals. Smoke the chops for 20 minutes, then transfer them to be directly over the coals, and cook for 4-7 minutes per side until they have reached the desired internal temperature.

If you are using a gas grill, set it up for smoking and indirect cooking (some advice on that here) and follow the same instructions for cooking over charcoal.

Coconut Rice with Lime and Cilantro

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 coconut milk
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 4 tsp finely chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste

Combine the rice, water, coconut milk, and salt in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Using a fork, fluff the rice while adding the remaining ingredients, adjusting the seasoning as needed. Serve hot.

* Recommended internal temperature for medium rare pork is 145 degrees Fahrenheit, 160 for medium. If you pierce the pork to tenderize, minimum safe internal temperature is 160 degrees.