The first time around wasn't what I'd call an unreserved success. There were cooking issues and texture issues. I gave it a "B-". I'll be honest and say that I was a little discouraged. I know that's utterly ridiculous. You can't create a masterpiece the first time out. But I was discouraged nonetheless.
So anyway, I did what I could to shake it off and planned another burger experiment, and got started with the planning...
I really like the idea of a spicy burger. Something that has a good amount of heat to it, but is still really flavorful. Not just hot. My solution on how to accomplish that was to cut the usual ground beef with a spicy ground italian sausage. Keeping in mind that the last burger was waaaaay too greasy, and knowing that sausage wouldn't exactly help the situation, I went with some good ol' Laura's Lean Beef. It's a 93/7 ratio. To that mixture I also added cayenne pepper and diced onion.
To top the sausage burger, I went with a hot pepper cheese and some more of that hot banana pepper and tomato relish I made the last time, only adding a couple of features. More on that in a moment.
Once again... the burger came out real, real pretty. Oh, and it tasted pretty good. I am almost 100% certain that the Tofu Muchacha liked it better than Burger # 1.
Ugh... I'm totally bored with talking about this thing... It was alright. It wasn't great. The sausage flavor was good, but not spicy enough. For me it was a bit too much like a breakfast burger... not that that wouldn't be a valid thing to eat for breakfast, but while the pork sausage provided a nice richness, it wasn't exactly the right kind of spiciness. Next time, I think I'm going to try to mix in some sort of spice mix as opposed to multiple kinds of meats. I think the mixed mediums once again made regulating the cooking of patty too difficult to gauge, much with the cheese the last time. No more of that for a while.
Also, I liked the flavor of the hot pepper cheese, but it didn't melt very well. The Tofu Muchacha suggested creating a "steam hood" around the burger to help the melting along. I actually, think the burger would have cooked through as well.
All in all, once again the highlight of the burger was the relish. I tossed finely diced 2 roma tomatoes and a handful of hot banana peppers. To that mixture I added some spicy mustard, honey, Franks Redhot, and fresh grated ginger.
I think I've hit on something with the relish. It's effing delicious.
Now... All of that said, this burger was pretty okay. It wasn't spectacular, but I liked it. I liked it well enough to bring one to work the next day. That turned out to be a mistake. It's possible the second burger didn't cook enough, and the pork was a little raw. It's possible that it made me a little sick. All I know is that I felt completely insane the rest of the day at work. I felt like I was slurring words, and I know for a fact that I was having a difficult time focusing on tasks.
Then I barfed.
If not for the barfing, I'd give it a "B-". I think barfing automatically lowers the grade. "C"