While I think we can all agree there are few things more American than grilling up a juicy venison burger on the 4th of July, when it comes to burger toppings, opinions vary. Some folks keep it simple, with the classic ketchup and mustard combination. Others get fancy, adding cheeses other than the standard American and toppings like salsa and guacamole. All this variety just punctuates America’s reputation as a melting pot of ideas, opinions, and flavors.
Over at the New York Times, Melissa Clark has some tips for making your own condiments, though I’m not sure I can take advice from someone who puts bread-and-butter pickles on their burgers. For me, it’s crisp, dill hamburger chips or nothing. I also prefer mustard to ketchup, mayo over Miracle Whip, and if I plan ahead, some good caramelized onions over raw.
I wish I could give you some revelatory tip for speeding this recipe up, but the fact is caramelized onions take time. Luckily, much of the 30 to 45 minutes is largely unattended, except for a minute here and there to stir, so you can use the time to make your burgers using the better venison burger secrets readers shared back in May.
-1 to 2 tablespoons duck or chicken fat
-2 yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
-Pinch of salt
-Pinch of sugar
-½ cup dark craft beer
Place a skillet over medium-high heat and add the fat. Cut the onions in half, root to tip, and peel outer layer. Place the onions cut side down and slide into thin half circles. Add the onions to the pan, along with a pinch of salt, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Lower heat to medium-low and let the onions cook down for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. When the onions turn a deep brown, add the sugar and beer. Deglaze the pan by raising heat to medium-high, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.