If you type in a Google search for “Oktoberfest Burger” you will end up with a result page full of references to the burger chain, Red Robin. Red Robin is one of the few restaurants we have in town. We don’t visit often, but a few weeks ago I received a birthday coupon in the mail for a free appetizer (never-mind that it was one month late) so we decided to head on over and put it to use.
Ironically, we forgot to bring the appetizer coupon, which initially irritated me because it was the sole purpose for our visit. My frustration was quickly lifted when we walked through the doors and saw the huge poster welcoming us with a photo of their seasonal Oktoberfest Burger. A juicy burger – complimented with Swiss cheese, black forest ham, beer-braised onions and beer mustard – all sandwiched between a pretzel-bun. Mmm-hmmm!
Ben and I split our meal because we always find that with an appetizer (their sweet potato fries are delicious!) we are always too full if we each eat our own burger. The one half was definitely enough to fill me up, but I wouldn’t be telling you the full truth if I didn’t admit I was wishing for more! And, what does one food blogger do when she wants more of something she loves at a restaurant? She figures out how to recreate it at home! This seasonal burger may only be available at Red Robin until November 6th, but now it’s available year round out of your own kitchen.
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces beer
- 1/4 cup beer mustard, or more if needed (you can buy store-bought or make it homemade, but I just mixed a few tablespoons of Dijon mustard with a little bit of beer)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- burger seasonings (seasoned salt, pepper, etc.), if preferred
- 8 to 12 thin slices black forest ham
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- 4 lettuce leaves
- 4 pretzel rolls
In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until just barely soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Pour in the beer then stir. Cover and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove the cover and continue to cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 Tablespoons of the beer mustard; set aside.
Meanwhile, shape the ground beef into 4 thick patties, mixing in seasonings to taste. Grill to desired doneness, adding the slices of cheese near the end and allowing to briefly melt. Toast the pretzel buns on the grill, if preferred. Remove buns and burgers from the grill and place on a platter to prepare for assembly.
To assemble the burgers, place a leaf of lettuce on the bottom half of a pretzel bun. Place a burger patty on top of the lettuce, with the cheese facing up. Top with beer-braised onions, beer mustard and 2 to 3 slices of ham. Finish it off with the top half of the pretzel bun. Repeat with the other patties and ingredients. Open your mouth wide, take a big bite and prepare to be amazed with the best burger ever.