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.

Enjoy!!!

What’s on your menu this Memorial Day weekend?

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