Better Burgers with Bitters (Angostura!)

Wow! I cannot quell my enthusiasm for using bitters in the kitchen. Angostura bitters adds such a punch of flavor to so many everyday foods, that I’m riding high on the possibilities. Hence, the burger recipe here, which I’ve added to my collection of all-time favorite burgers. The other I shared with you last summer, my Divinely Delicious Burgers.

I got turned on to the power and versatility of using bitters when asked to develop recipes for a client. Ever since, I’ve been a disciple!  Angostura bitters is something like a fish sauce (in usage, not taste-wise) that you use to enhance flavor and add another dimension—another layer of flavor.

If you yearn for dark chocolate and dark-roast coffee, you will love Angostura. And if you do nothing else, at least try Angostura bitters in ketchup. Stir in a few drops, then taste and add more if you want (see my ratio in the recipe here).  Please let me know what you think of the burgers. Likes and dislikes are all welcome.  (ps: Look for my grilled vegetables with Angostura mayonnaise — coming soon.)

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Makes 8 burgers 

2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
2 Tbsps. each minced celery, onion, green bell pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
2 tsp. Angostura Aromatic Bitters
1/2 cup ketchup *
1 tsp. Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Place ground beef in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, celery, onion, green pepper, thyme, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over meat in two batches, cutting into meat with the side of a large spoon.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together milk, egg, lemon juice and 2 teaspoons Angostura bitters. (It’s okay if the milk mixture curdles a bit.) Gradually fold into meat. Form into 8 patties.

For topping, stir together ketchup and 1 tsp. Angostura bitters.*  Grill hamburgers (or pan-fry) until cooked as desired, 4-5 minutes per side grilled on medium-high heat. Serve burgers topped with Angostura-laced ketchup.

* Ketchup topping may be doubled.

Nutrition information per serving: 280 calories, 24g protein, 11g carb, 16g fat, (6g sat. fat), 105mg chol, 610mg sodium, 0g fiber

Recipe by Rita Held     Photo by Suzanne Carrerio 

For more ways to use Angostura, take a look at the short video from the New Orleans Tales of the Cocktail conference two weeks ago. I describe our luncheon menu at about the 1:15 minutes mark.

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