Mason Hereford can always be found at restaurants with memorable names. He’s the chef and owner of Turkey and The Wolf in New Orleans and recently released a cookbook of the same name filled with recipes for the restaurant’s signature sandwiches, sides, and oddball creations. If we had to describe Hereford’s cooking in one word, we’d waffle between “playful” and “irreverent,” then land on “delicious.”
We’re fans of Hereford here in Chicago because he and chef Ryan Pfeiffer (formerly of Blackbird) have collaborated on Big Kids, a Logan Square restaurant that shares the Turkey and The Wolf sensibility. The Big Kids menu features creative entrees that jokingly mess around with comfort food—I mean, aside from grilled cheese and ranch nugs, the house burger is called the Shiddy Burg.
On that note, here’s an extremely not shiddy burg from Hereford’s new book, the Not Yo Mama’s Peanut Butter-Bacon Burger. For those of you who’ve never slapped peanut butter on a burger, I swear by this practice, and this recipe will be enough to convince you to do the same.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Turkey and The Wolf by Mason Hereford with JJ Goode, copyright (c) 2022. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.
Makes 1 awesome burger
- 5 ounces ground beef, divided into two 2-inch balls
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- Generous ½ teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- 1 Martin’s potato sandwich roll
- 2 bun-size pieces iceberg lettuce
- Some thinly sliced red onion
- Creamy peanut butter for serving
- 2 strips bacon, cooked however you like your bacon
- Ketchup (there is only Heinz) for swiping
Set a medium cast-iron skillet over high heat until it’s pretty hot. While the skillet’s heating up, put a beef ball between two pieces of parchment or wax paper and evenly flatten it to make a 6-inch patty. Repeat with the other ball on separate parchment paper.
Add about ½ teaspoon of the butter to the pan and swirl it around. Lower the heat to medium, then add one of the patties and season the up-side liberally with Lawry’s (a generous ¼ teaspoon per patty).
Cook until the first side gets a little brown (you’re not looking for a crust here), 30 to 45 seconds. Flip the patty and cook about 45 seconds more.
Move the patty to a plate and use a roll half to wipe up the buttery drippings, leaving it for a few seconds, so it gets a little toasty. Cook the other patty the same way (the butter, the Lawry’s), but this time, stack the patty on the other patty. Use the other roll half to sop up the drippings and let it get toasty, too.
Here’s how I build it, but no rules apply, as long as you get all the stuff between the buns: On the bun bottom, add the lettuce leaf and some onion. Add the patty stack, then some peanut butter (I go large and use 3 tablespoons, but 2 tablespoons is probably more reasonable) and the bacon (break ’em up to fit on the burger). Swipe some ketchup on the top bun, cap the burger, and eat.