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Sweet Onion Burgers and Vinegar Oven Fries

Sweet Onion Burgers and Vinegar Oven Fries


For the fries:

  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons white vinegar, divided

  • 3 Russet potatoes, peeled

  • Cooking spray

  • Fine sea salt or kosher salt

For the onions:

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 large onions, quartered, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1 large bay leaf

  • Salt

  • White pepper and finely ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 cup ketchup

  • 3 tablespoons pickle relish, such as Wickles

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tablespoon safflower, vegetable or canola oil

  • 1 1/2 pounds 80% lean ground beef

  • 8 slices sharp American cheese, such as Cooper, mild cheddar or Swiss

  • 4 potato burger rolls

  • Chopped iceberg or gem Romaine lettuce

  • Bread-and-butter pickle slices


Preheat oven to 425°F.

Place 2 tablespoons vinegar and about 3 cups water in a bowl. Cut the peeled potatoes first into planks then into thin fries. Add fries to vinegar bath and soak 20 minutes.

Drain fries and dry, then spread them out on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle fries with remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar and spray with cooking spray. Season with salt and roast 20 minutes; turn fries over and roast 20 more minutes. Remove from oven and salt to taste.

While the fries are cooking, in a skillet over medium heat, melt butter for the onions. Add onions and bay, and season with salt and both peppers. Cook onions 15-20 minutes until very soft and light caramel in color. Add 1 cup of water and cook 10 minutes longer until onions are a deep caramel color and the water has been absorbed.

In a bowl, combine sour cream, ketchup, relish and Worcestershire sauce.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high to high heat with oil, 1 turn of the pan. Divide the meat into four portions and loosely roll each portion into a ball. Add balls to the hot pan and smash them into patties with a metal burger spatula. Season with salt and pepper, and cook 3 minutes then flip and top each patty with 2 slices of cheese. Cook burgers 2-3 minutes more, tenting with foil to melt the cheese.

To build the burgers, slather sauce on the bun bottoms and top with lettuce, pickles, a burger patty and some sweet onions. Set bun tops in place and serve.