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Guinness Burgers

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Prior to leaving for Paris, my boys and I had a few days away "just us guys".  It is a trip we do every year right at the end of school, and as luck would have it, we get to celebrate Father's Day while we are off having a blast together....it is absolutely perfect.  This year, the boys bought me a few books in celebration of the big day, one, written by Justin Halpern is called Sh*t My Dad Says  and is riotously funny, I can highly recommend it.  The other is entitled Guinness: Celebrating 250 Remarkable Years and is a wonderful history (complete with some scrumptious recipes) of one of my favorite libations.  My boys always know just what to get me, thanks guys.

As we flipped through the pages of the Guinness book we found a number of recipes that were immediately deemed blog worthy, from Guinness Bread, to Shepard's Pie, to Bangers and Mash with Guinness Sauce, but the one that stood-out above all others, the one we wanted to cook first, was this one, Guinness Burgers.

Boris, Arthas and I fired up a few of these lovelies the other night and found them to be a great and tasty departure from a run-of-the-mill burger.  They offer a compelling and complex taste profile, smokey-sweet, and dark, just like their namesake, with a soft, melt in your mouth texture of a veal meatloaf. The rosemary compound butter that is served on top of each patty will beg you not to reach for the ketchup bottle.  I enjoyed mine on a brioche bun (I told you we wouldn't be in spa-land for long), with just a touch dijon mustard, lettuce and tomato for garnish......what a treat!

These are burgers you will want to cook indoors, ideally in a cast iron pan (although any good skillet will do), as they are quite loose and fragile after forming, the meat having marinated in beer for the better part of the day.  They really do feel like little meatloafs in your hands, and while they do hold-up nicely in a pan, I fear that they would suffer a grim demise over the open flame of an outdoor grill.

It goes without saying that these are best served with a cold, perfectly poured pint of the good stuff.


Guinness Burgers

Adapted from:  "Guinness - An official celebration of 250 remarkable years" 

(Print Friendly Recipe)


  • 1 pound locally raised, grass fed ground beef
  • 2/3 cup Guinness Stout
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 4 bacon slices, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon creamed horseradish
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2/3 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. The night before you want to make these, lay the ground beef out is a shallow dish and cover with the Guinness.  Using your hands, massage the Guinness into the meat, cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
  2. When ready to form the burgers, saute the onion and bacon in a skillet until the onion is lightly browned and the bacon is crisped to your liking.  Pour the mix into a fine mesh seive to drain away any excess bacon fat and set aside to cool.
  3. Lift the beef out of the marinade and gently squeeze any excess Guinness from the meat.  Place the meat in a large bowl, add the onion bacon mixture, the horseradish, egg and paprika.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the flour over.  Using your hands, mix together well.   Divide the mix into 4 equal portions and form into round patties, about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Carefully lay the patties on a non-stick baking sheet and top with plastic film.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 6 hours to firm up.
  4. While the burgers are chilling, finely mince the fresh rosemary leaves, and combine in a small bowl with the soft butter and minced garlic.  Mix together and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and form a sausage shaped piece of the compound butter on top, about 1 1/2 inched in diameter.  Roll the butter into a log inside the wrap, and freeze for 20 minutes to set.
  5. When ready to cook the burgers, lightly oil a cast iron (or non-stick) frying pan.  Heat over a medium-high flame until just beginning to smoke, add the burgers and cook for a bout 5 minutes on each side, until well browned on the outside.  Because the Guinness stains the meat, a medium-rare burger will not be rosy pink inside, so you will need to go by feel to know when they are done.  The burgers should resist slightly in the center (and not be too mushy), when cooked to medium rare.
  6. Serve immediately topped with a pat of the rosemary garlic butter.

Serves 4


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"Oui, Chef" exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my kids a few things about cooking, and how their food choices over time effect not only their own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, passing on established familial food traditions, and starting some new ones. Read more...
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