We Try Our Hands at Red Robin’s South Beach Bash Burger
There’s just four days to go until we get up close and personal with a menagerie of meat in Miami at the South Beach Burger Bash and the anticipation is damn near killing us. So, in hopes of somehow satisfying our insatiable desires and keeping our hunger demons at bay, we’d thought we’d try recreating one of the 31 burgers on Friday’s menu.
The problem is nearly all of the competitors keep their recipes locked up tighter than how our jeans fit after the Bash. Fortunately, however, we got the scoop on Red Robin’s entry created by Florida International University student Alex Bello. Alex won the burger joint’s “Golden Robin” contest this year which scored him a $10,000 scholarship and a spot in this year’s Bash. His contest-winning burger tops double patties with mac and cheese done up buffalo-style, muenster and ranch dressing. It’s dubbed the Buffalo Mac ‘N Cheesey Burger, naturally.
We checked out the recipe and, by all accounts, it’s perfectly fine. But we tend to go a bit overboard here at Burger Days and since we have a complete disregard for our insides, we decided to turn this thing up to 11.
We started by bumping up the two, three-ounce patties to four ounces each so we had a full half-pound of beef in there. And then, rather than a grill (because, come on, it’s five degrees outside here. FIVE. DEGREES.), we tossed ’em on the skillet and smashed the hell out of them. For the mac and cheese, we wanted something creamy, so we took this recipe from the New York Times and added half a cup of Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo sauce to the mix midway through cooking.
Alex’s recipe calls for a “light brush” of ranch dressing on the top bun. But we don’t do light. So, after stacking the muenster-coated, smashed-grilled patties on our Martin’s Big Marty roll, we tossed a heaping stack of mac and cheese on top followed by a – and we use this word ironically – healthy dousing of ranch. Boom. The Burger Days version of Alex Bello’s award-winning Buffalo Mac ‘N Cheesey Burger for Red Robin.
Thanks, Alex, this just might get us through until Friday.
Buffalo Mac ‘N Cheesey Burger by Alex Bello
6 oz. 80/20 blend beef formed into two 3 oz. patties
4″ sesame seed bun
Heinz Buffalo Wing Sauce
Heinz Ranch Dressing
1 slice of Muenster Cheese
Red Robin’s Cheesy Mac ‘N Cheesey
To make Buffalo Man ‘N Cheesey, mix Red Robin’s Cheesy Mac ‘N Cheesey with Heinz Buffalo Wing Sauce
1) Toast buns
2) Cook the two burger patties
3) Place patties on top of the toasted bun
4) Place warm prepared Buffalo Mac ‘N Cheesey on top of the two patties
5) Place slice of Muenster cheese on top of the Buffalo Mac N’ Cheesey to hold in place. The residual heat from the Buffalo Man ‘N Cheesey will melt the slice of Muenster.
6) Lightly brush the top sesame seed bun with Heinz Ranch Dressing and close this masterpiece.
Buffalo Mac ‘N Cheesey Burger by Alex Bello, the Burger Days version
8 oz. 80/20 brisket-short rib-sirloin blend
1 Martin’s Big Marty roll
Kraft Peppercorn Ranch
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce added after 30 minutes (You’re going to have a lot of macaroni and cheese left over. This is a good thing. Eat it.)
1-2 slices of Muenster
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
1) Cook your macaroni and cheese.
2) Toast your buns under the broiler.
3) Heat a lightly oiled cast iron skillet to medium-high heat.
4) Form two, four-ounce patties into oblong meatballs. Generously season one side with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
5) Place both patties, seasoned-side down on the skillet, far enough apart that when you smash them down they won’t overlap and then, using a metal turner, smash both patties down. Season the other side of the patties.
6) After about two minutes, use the turner to scrape under the patties – taking care to get under the crust so it stays on the burger – and flip.
7) Season other sides of the patties and place a slice of muenster on one of the patties (or both if you’re feeling it).
8) After about a minute, remove patties from skillet and place on the toasted bottom bun.
9) Add a big scoop of mac and cheese on top of the patties and then go crazy with the ranch.
10) Boom. Time to get fatter.
(The Burger Lab schooled us on perfecting our burger-smashing technique.)