All this talk of Okie cooking combined with the “big move” got me to thinking about another blast from the past, my Oklahoma Onion Burger. The recipe was originally shared (you guessed it) way back in 2014. There’s a whole backstory to the invention of the Oklahoma Onion Burger contained in the original posting that you might enjoy. As for today, I’m just going to chat a minute about my Pops and then get right into the recipe.
Dad is set in his ways. He does not take kindly to change. Our pending move has him all worked up. It’s not like our last move, to another state for fourteen years before returning to my roots, the central valley of sunny California. We are talking another town within California – just an hour’s drive away. Dad has enjoyed the past eight years, having me only twenty-minutes away. What’s another forty minutes you ask? For us, no big deal. For my Dad, it may as well be to the moon! I know, once we get settled into our new digs (wherever that might be – still house hunting in between packing), we are going to have a family barbecue. Okay, so the burgers are cooked on a griddle and not a grill, but you get my meaning. In honor of Dear Old Dad and his Oklahoma roots, I plan to make Oklahoma Onion Burgers. These are easy to cook up, leaving oodles of time to visit with Dad. I’m sure, once he knows exactly where we are, he will feel much better. And comfort food like a good, old-fashioned burger can’t hurt!
Oklahoma Onion Burger
1 large onion, halved and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 teaspoon salt
Garlic Powder to taste
Pepper to taste
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 teaspoon bacon drippings
4 slices of Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4 hamburger buns, buttered and toasted
4 Slices Beef Steak Tomatoes
4 Lettuce Leaves
Peel onion and cut in half to create two “domes”. Lay onion, cut side down, and cut all the way around to create thin slivers. Repeat with second half of onion. Combine onion and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl and toss to combine, transfer to a colander and let sit for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Cut several layers of cheesecloth, large enough to hold onions in a bundle. Using tongs, transfer onion to cheesecloth, gather edges and squeeze onion dry.
Divide onion mixture into four separate mounds on a rimmed baking sheet. Form beef into four lightly packed balls seasoned with seasonings as desired. Place beef balls on top of onion mounds and flatten beef firmly so that the onion adheres and patties measure 4 inches in diameter.
Melt bacon drippings on a griddle over medium heat. Using spatula, transfer patties to griddle, onion side down, and cook until onions are deep golden brown and beginning to crisp around the edges, 8-10 minutes. Flip burgers, increase their heat to medium-high and cook until well browned on the 2nd side, about 2 minutes. Place 1 slice of cheese over each burger, allow to melt.
Spread your favorite condiments on buns such as mayonnaise, ketchup and/or mustard. Place a lettuce leaf on the bottom of each bun. Top with onion burger and a slice of tomato. Place top bun into place. If desired, cut burgers in half to make it easier to handle when eating. Just be sure to serve with plenty of napkins.