You say Memorial Day, and I say BARBECUE! This long weekend marks the beginning of summer and the scent of grilled meat shall waft through the streets of Everywhere, USA. If you’re tired of the same ol’ burgers and brats, I’ve got a great recipe for you courtesy of one of the world’s most famous and respected chefs.

I had the honor of meeting Chef Marcus Samuelsson at Macy’s – the former Marshall Field’s, here in Chicago. Chef Marcus is the owner of Marc Burger, located on the seventh floor of Macy’s, and the owner of C-House, a high end gourmet restaurant I recently had the pleasure of visiting. (Cocktails to DIE for. If you go, order The Flower).

At the Macy’s event, he was leading a burger cooking demonstration as part of Macy’s Culinary Council, and signing copies of his newest book New American Table. Marcus was cracking up the audience! The man is funny, and has an undeniable presence – many in the audience seemed absolutely star struck as they asked the celebrity chef and current contestant on Top Chef Masters questions about the herbs, spices, and techniques he used to make his infamous burgers. Click here to visit Your Trendy for photos from the event, and thanks so much to Your Trendy for taking a great photo of me (my phone camera wasn’t cutting it)! Also – like my top? It’s the Silver Queen tunic by XCVI – LOVE their clothes!

During the Culinary Council event, trays of burgers and mahi sandwiches were passed out to every audience member present. I got to eat one and it was DELICIOUS. So in honor of Memorial Day barbecues everywhere, here’s the recipe for Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s incredible BBQ Burger. My phone photo does it NO justice!

BBQ Burger

3 lbs. all natural ground beef, 8 – 6 ounce patties
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 teaspoons smoked hot paprika
8 (4 inch) potato buns
4 Tablespoons butter
1 cup Chunky BBQ Sauce (recipe attached)
16 strips apple wood smoked bacon
8 leaves Boston butter lettuce
16 slices tomato, sliced ¼ inch thick
16 rings red onion, thinly sliced

Season both sides of burger with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Grill to order.

Split, butter, and grill bun.

To serve, place burger on bun bottom. Top with BBQ sauce, then bacon. Place lettuce, tomato and onion on bun top.

Serves 8.

Chunky BBQ Sauce

2 Tablespoons oil
1 large red onion, finely diced
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 Tablespoons tomatoes, diced in juice
1 ½ Tablespoons harissa
2 Tablespoons ketchup
2 Tablespoons Sambal Oelek chili paste
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ teaspoons canned chipotle peppers, pureed
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, stems removed
3 cups water
1 cup brewed coffee
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes, until the onions are softened.

Add the honey and brown sugar and stir for about 10 minutes until the sugar melts and caramelizes and the vegetables are a dark golden brown.

Add the tomatoes, harissa, ketchup, chili paste, Worcestershire sauce, chipotle chili, tomato paste, rosemary, thyme, water and coffee. Bring to a brisk simmer.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 1 hour, or until the sauce is reduced by about half and thickened. Remove from the heat. Season with salt.


What’s on your menu this Memorial Day weekend?

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JenG says:
May 28, 2010, 11:34 am
I am a huge fan of Marcus Samuelson. I have been watching Top Chef Masters just of see him. Thanks for the burger recipe can't wait to try it!
Ansley says:
May 28, 2010, 11:44 am
I saw him on Top Chef. I liked the episode when he made a meal centered around "Apu" from the simpsons cartoon
Marilise says:
May 28, 2010, 1:26 pm
I love Marcus and his cooking! I'll definitely check out his book. Thanks for posting these two recipes.
Sannatti says:
May 28, 2010, 8:21 pm
Aren't you a lucky bella. I love him after seeing him as a judge on Iron Chef! I am going to try that pickled mango recipe. Thanks for sharing
This Time Now says:
May 29, 2010, 9:21 pm
I don't know about your budget, but have you ever thought about hiring an aspiring photographer? You're really starting to expand beyond the blogosphere and I think that better photography could help you progress even more. Just a thought. Give some talented high school or university photography student a chance to spread their wings. Just a thought.
conveyancing rockhampton says:
May 30, 2010, 4:34 am
wow, look at that, I'm already drooling, great color, looks delicious
a says:
May 31, 2010, 3:15 am
Why did not forget to mention he was born in Ethiopian...? Just curious...everyone black and successful in the States is not always an African-American...I wish you wouldn't lump him in with "everyone else"...thanks.
Rochelle says:
May 31, 2010, 7:36 am
I have been a fan of Marcus since he was a guest on Sarah Moulton's show on food network before it was the big brand it is now. You get to have the most fun hanging out with great people, tasting good food and looking good doing it in your natural woman way!
bella says:
May 31, 2010, 9:51 am
a - I didn't include that information simply because it didn't come up during his cooking seminar. Everyone who knows Marcus Samuelsson knows that. His book was specifically about redefining the American table, and he was cooking hamburgers during the event. Other than discussing his use of some spices from his homeland (like Berbere), even Marcus didn't spend much time discussing where he is from. It wasn't my intent to "lump him in with everyone else," it simply didn't come up when writing this post. Thanks for commenting, everyone! Marcus was friendly and gracious. I'm gonna try to make those burgers tonight!
pets says:
May 31, 2010, 11:17 am
Wow Bella! lovely top and great food! As to having your own photographer that is a good point but it will also increase expenditure costs - why not invest in a good small digital camera?
BlackBetty says:
June 1, 2010, 11:46 am
I love Marcus. And since we both live in Harlem, I get to see him often. I'll def try the burgers. I have his cookbook but would hate to get it dirty so I havne't used it. What a pity!
darlene says:
June 10, 2010, 7:13 pm
Hey Bella, Marcus won Top Chef Masters! The finale aired last night. darlene
Clarissa says:
May 1, 2014, 4:19 pm
The driving offences France international was caught speeding on the M6 northbound, near Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, said she was going at 60mph, weaving in heavy traffic and changing lanes without using a turn signal. A motorist has been charged with killing a husband and wife who died when he was jailed for five months.


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