The Father's Office burger is a beloved staple in our lives. There are few things better on a Saturday afternoon than relaxing with friends on Culver City's Father's Office patio, frosty pint of craft beer in one hand and juices from the famous burger dripping down the other. But what if you want to avoid the mandatory carding and absolutely-no-substitutions policy and make your own Father's Office burger at home? I've spent the past few days making the burger at home, diligently following the recipe Father's Office owner Sang Yoon's shared with MSNBC last year.
The Father's Office Burger, (almost) topless
While the burger was great, it just seemed like something was missing. I've heard that that many chefs who share "famous" recipes often omit or slightly modify ingredients or amounts so an at-home re-creation will never live up to the actual experience. Who knows if Chef Yoon did that -- I certainly wouldn't blame him -- but I found that a 2008 LA Times imitation recipe came closer to the real thing, and I've even modified it from there. Tonight, after my third attempt at the recipe, I think I've done it! Check out my recipe below:
The DIY Father's Office Burger
Total time: Approximately 1 hour
Makes: 4 servings
FOR THE BURGERS:
1 pound dry-aged strip steak, ground
1 pound dry-aged rib-eye steak, ground
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Canola oil spray
2 ounces Point Reyes blue cheese, cut into small chunks
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
4 brioche baguettes, halved and toasted
1 cup baby arugula
FOR THE CARAMELIZED ONIONS:
2 slices applewood-smoked bacon (available by the slice in the cheese/gourmet meats sections of Whole Foods markets)
2 sweet Vidalia onions, sliced paper-thin (about 4 cups)
1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons truffled balsamic vinegar reduction (available at specialty markets)
1 teaspoon organic ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
Caramelize the onions: Heat a stainless steel pan over medium-high heat. Fry the two pieces of bacon until crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain. Chop both slices into small pieces and set aside. Add the sliced onions to the pan, spreading in an even layer. Sprinkle the onions evenly with brown sugar. Cook the onions until they are golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring every 4-5 minutes. Halfway through, stir in the bacon. At the end of the 20 minutes, stir in the truffled balsamic vinegar reduction, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 more minutes. Set aside.
Fry the Applewood Smoked Bacon...
Slice & Cook Onions Until They're Golden Brown
Stir in Bacon, Balsamic Reduction, Worcestershire & Ketchup
Make the burgers: Combine the ground strip and rib-eye and gently mix in the salt, making sure not to overwork the meat. Mold the meat into 4 (7-inch) oval patties, about one-inch thick. Spray two large skillets (I used one stainless steel and one non-stick, and both worked just fine) with canola oil spray and heat over a medium-high flame. Cook two burgers at a time, for four minutes, then flip (Note: The fat content in the burgers is high, so watch out for hot oil splatters). Equally divide the blue and Gruyere cheeses into fourths, topping each burger with both cheeses. Cover the pan and cook the burgers three more minutes for medium. Remove the burgers from the pans and place on the toasted brioche baguettes. Divide the onion mixture and arugula evenly among the burgers, and serve!
Ground Strip & Rib Eye Steak
Cook Burgers In Hot Skillet, Top With Blue & Gruyere Cheeses
Place Burgers On Toasted Buns, Top With Arugula & Serve!
(Note: my bun is a ciabatta/baguette blend; I highly recommend finding brioche baguettes)