Recipe:  Brewmaster  Burgers  


Recipe: Brewmaster Burgers

By Garrett Oliver

These are a real favorite, from my barbecues in Brooklyn to seaside hangouts with friends in Brazil. The recipe sounds a bit strange, but these burgers are mighty tasty.


  • 2 lbs freshly ground beef (chuck)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 2/3 cup of robust red wine
  • 1/2 stick salted butter, chilled
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (coarse)
  • sea salt
  • 1/4 lb Gruyere or Swiss cheese, freshly grated
  • sliced tomatoes
  • 4 large onion rolls, sliced and toasted on the inside
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • olive oil


1. Chop the onion finely. Using a sharp knife, cut the butter into small pea-sized pieces (the butter has to be cold, or you’ll have a hard time doing this). Wash your hands, because you’re about to get busy.

2. Put the chopped beef into a large bowl. Add in the onion and the wine. Using your hands, knead the wine and onion into the meat until fully incorporated. Add the butter chips, the cumin, and the pepper, and knead further until the butter looks well-distributed. Add salt to taste, knead it in, and form the meat into four even-sized patties.

3. If you’re going to cook the burgers on a stove, then use a hot cast iron skillet, coat lightly with olive oil (you can use peanut oil if you’re worried about smoke from the pan) and add the patties. Cook the burgers to your preferred temperature using medium heat.

4. If you’re grilling the burgers, coat the grill with the olive oil and grill over hot coals. In either case, when the burgers seem a minute or two from being done, add the grated cheese on top and cover for the final minute of cooking.

5. Remove from heat, and build your burger with onion rolls, tomato and condiments. Serve immediately with Brooklyn Summer Ale.