Ever since Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday in 1971, Americans have been honoring and remembering those who lost their lives fighting for our freedom with remembrance parades, holiday get-togethers, and delicious picnic food.
Plus, Memorial Day is sometimes also considered the unofficial start to summer! As schools start wrapping up and the weather becomes warmer, Memorial Day is often the signal for many people to break out their grill and start making their favorite summer food, like hot dogs, grilled chicken, and cheeseburgers!
This year, we’re marking the “unofficial start to summer” with a brand new grilled cheese recipe that will give you all the warm weather vibes and can easily be prepared on your freshly-prepped grill at home! Whether to celebrate the holiday weekend or to simply mix up your dinner routine, making this Smash Burger Grilled Cheese recipe will satisfy all your cheesy-beefy cravings.
Featured Grilled Cheese: Smash Burger Grilled Cheese
We chose a burger-themed grilled cheese for this uniquely American holiday because burgers are one of the most iconic foods in the U.S. Plus, we are especially big fans of the smash burger trend that continues to crop up in restaurants and pop-up events around the nation. In fact, many smash burger chefs have said that the only bun for a smash burger is a Martin’s Potato Roll.
The secret to making any great smash burger is to start with quality ingredients. We chose 80/20 ground beef (that is, 80% lean and 20% fat), American cheese, and Martin’s Potato Bread. But, we didn’t stop there. This smash burger recipe was made uniquely Martin’s by adding classic PA Dutch flavors like apple cider vinegar and apple butter in the last two ingredients: caramelized onions and special sauce!
The Caramelized Onions:
Onions are a common smash burger topping—whether thin-sliced and fried or diced and served raw. For our Pennsylvania Dutch-inspired version, we caramelized thin-sliced onion in butter and PA apple butter and then seasoned with salt, pepper, and a pinch of thyme.
The Special Sauce:
What’s so “special” about this smash burger ingredient? Well, perhaps it’s the fact that each and every smash burger chef that uses this sauce has his or her own uniquely tailored version, making no two special sauces exactly alike. Of course, since we’re making our very own smash burger recipe, we decided to create our own special sauce, as well. To equal parts ketchup, mustard, and mayo, we added sweet pickle relish and apple cider vinegar for a tangy flavor that balances the rich umami taste of beef and cheese.
And, voilà! The finished product is a hint of American summer grilling, a hint of Pennsylvania Dutch, and a lot of delicious flavor wrapped up in two pieces of golden-brown Martin’s Potato Bread.
Try the recipe!
Smash Burger Grilled Cheese
Our Director or Transport and self-titled grilling expert, Brian Ramer, demonstrated this unique grilled cheese recipe in the video below! The video can also be found on our YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/gSZsDgGTd74.
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