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Recipe: Pronghorn Smash Burger

by Bri Van Scotter

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You’ll return for another one of these hearty burgers faster than a pronghorn can blaze across the open prairie.

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FEATURED GEAR

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For the field: Pocket Knife Sharpener
For the kitchen: E5 (electric kitchen countertop sharpener)

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INGREDIENTS
Mac & Cheese

Elbow macaroni, cooked
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
1 cup Velveeta cheese
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 4-oz. cans diced hatch chilies, drained
All-purpose flour
4 eggs, whisked together
Panko bread crumbs

Onion Gravy
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
4 yellow onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dukes Mayonnaise

Burger
2 pounds ground pronghorn
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Kosher salt
Brioche buns

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INSTRUCTIONS
Mac & Cheese Patties
In a large sauce pot, add 1 tbsp. of butter over medium-high heat. Add the evaporated milk and bring to a boil. Once the milk boils add the cheddar cheese, Velveeta cheese, thyme, garlic powder and hatch chiles. Stir to melt the cheese. Whisk in 1 tbsp. of flour if needed. Then add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce.

Spread the mac and cheese on a sheet tray to cool. Once the mac and cheese is about room temperature, place it in the refrigerator to completely chill, about 30 minutes.

To make the patties, take a ring cutter and punch out large circle of the mac and cheese.

Heat a 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet on high heat until a temperature of about 275-300 is reached.

Dredge the mac and cheese patties in all-purpose flour. Then dredge them in the egg mixture, and then finally coat them in panko bread crumbs. Fry immediately until to panko is golden brown and the patties are internally hot. Repeat process with remaining mac and cheese patties.

Onion Gravy
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter and olive oil to the pan. Once the butter if fully melted, add the sliced onions. Cook the onions until they’re a golden-brown color, about 15-20 minutes. Then add the balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and all-purpose flour. Mix everything together until a roux has been created with the flour, then mix in the mayonnaise and remove from heat.

Smash Burger
Take the ground meat and weigh 4-ounce patties. Repeat with the remaining ground meat, so that you have 8 patties.

Set a large cast-iron skillet over high heat and add the vegetable oil. Once the skillet is hot, add 2-3 patties to the pan depending on the size of the pan. Use a cast-iron weight to smash the burgers down. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through and the edges are slightly crispy. Repeat with the remaining patties.

Assemble
To serve the burgers, place a meat patty on top of the bottom half of the brioche bun. Place a mac-and-cheese patty on top of the meat, and then layer with another meat patty. Drizzle with onion gravy and finish the burger with top of brioche bun.

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