Hawaiian Beef Burgers

I've never been to Hawaii, but it's on my bucket list of travel spots. Even though I've never been to the Aloha state, I have been to an authentic luau. Well, as authentic as a luau in Alabama could be. When I was little, my parents took me on lots of vacations. I am an only child, and I'll admit it, I was a bit spoiled. One year, when I was about 12, we were vacationing down in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and had the opportunity to attend a Hawaiian luau. It sounded like fun, so we suited up in our most tropical attire to eat Hawaiian food and hula the night away with 100 other random vacationers. Now, I don't remember much about the food (except there was lots of pineapple), but I do remember the hula dancing. And the moment when my dad went up on stage to hula with several other men. I think it was the "Dad's dance" or something? And then he was chosen to lead the group! Coming from a 12-year old's perspective, it was pretty hilarious (and maybe slightly embarrassing.) Heck, my mom thought it was hilarious as well. Too bad this was before the days of phone video cameras and the ability to capture life as it happens! I will always have that memory of my dad - hula dancer extraordinaire.  

  Anyway, onto the burger. Like I said, I've never been to Hawaii. But this burger captures all the typical "Hawaiian" flavors, and sandwiches it inside a bun. The burgers are marinated in a pineapple-soy-garlicky marinade, and then grilled. Then they're topped with some tangy feta, crisp bacon, and more pineapple. Fresh & summery, these juicy burgers are sure to be a hit with your family. Start with the burgers. For the marinade, combine the juice from a can of crushed pineapple, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and a bit of cayenne.   [caption id="attachment_631" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Cayenne pepper, ketchup, crushed pineapple, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic"][/caption]   Form your patties by combining a pound of fresh ground beef with salt & pepper and a bit of crushed pineapple.   [caption id="attachment_633" align="aligncenter" width="445" caption="My plates are handy because they go up on the sides. If you need to, place your burgers in a tupperware so the marinade doesn't spill everywhere."][/caption]   While the burgers are marinating, get your bacon going. You can prepare it however you like, but my favorite is in the oven. (No splatters all over your clothes or stovetop!) Just line a baking sheet with foil, lay the bacon flat, and bake at 400*F for 20-25 minutes until crisp.   [caption id="attachment_632" align="aligncenter" width="512" caption="This smokehouse bacon was AWESOME! It was thick-cut and full of flavor."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_634" align="aligncenter" width="384" caption="Note - there are 6 pieces of bacon."][/caption]   Once the bacon is ready, get your grilled fired up. Now, when you grill these burgers, you want to line the grill with foil at first. The patties are pretty loosey goosey from the pineapple, and they have a tendency to fall apart. Gril 5-6 minutes on the foil, and then flip. Once they've flipped and cooked a minute or two on the other side, slide them off the foil so they can get those pretty grill marks. Once your burgers are finished on the grill, it's time to assemble!   [caption id="attachment_635" align="aligncenter" width="512" caption="Notice there are now only 4 pieces of bacon. Word to the wise - don't let your husband in the kitchen when you are cooking bacon."][/caption]   Start with a toasted bun. The King's Hawaiian sweet rolls are perfect for this burger because they add another layer of flavor to the burger.   [caption id="attachment_637" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Yum!"][/caption]   Top your burger with the feta cheese first, then a few pieces of bacon, then the lettuce. Spoon a bit of crushed pineapple on the top half of the bun and you are ready to go!  

  Instantly transported to the Hawaiian islands... or you know, good ole' Lima, Ohio. Same thing right?! ;-) Happy grilling! ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hawaiian Beef Burgers

Servings/Yield 4 burgers
  • 20-oz. can unsweetened crushed pineapple
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 4 (one package) Hawaiian hamburger rolls
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and sliced in half
  • lettuce
  • feta cheese
  Method Drain pineapple, reserving juice. In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup pineapple, pepper, and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 4 patties; place in a glass dish. In a small bowl, combine reserved pineapple juice, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Pour marinade over burgers; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, turning burgers once. Drain and discard marinade. Line grill with foil. Place patties on foil and grill 6-7 minutes. (This helps them stay together... they tend to fall apart.) When burgers are seared, remove foil from grill and place burgers directly on grill. Grill until desired doneness, flipping once. Slice Hawaiian rolls in half and toast. To assemble burgers, place patty on bottom half of bun. Top with a bit of feta cheese and three bacon halves. Top with a piece of lettuce. On top half of bun, spoon a bit of reserved pineapple. Sandwich together and eat! Yum! Source: Adapted from Taste of Home  

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