The Monster Burger, The Pig in a Poke is a best-seller at the Quil Ceda Creek Casino in Tulalip. (Quil Ceda Creek Çasino)

The Monster Burger, The Pig in a Poke is a best-seller at the Quil Ceda Creek Casino in Tulalip. (Quil Ceda Creek Çasino)

Serve a tasty, beefed-up version of an American classic

The Monster Burger, The Pig in a Poke is a proven favorite at the Quil Ceda Creek Casino. Here’s how to make your version for Memorial Day cookouts.

By Diane Lasswell / Special to The Herald

The hamburger sandwich as we know it today is ubiquitous: from national chains, cafes, to neighborhood pubs and beyond, hungry diners consume millions of burgers daily.

How and where this favorite originated remains a mystery to this day. From Louis’ Lunch, a diner in New Haven, Connecticut, to a restaurant in Texas, many eateries claim to have introduced the first hamburger to American palates. Testifying to its rising popularity, “hamburger steak” was referenced as early as the 1880s in more than a dozen newspapers from New York to Hawaii.

Memorial Day weekend is a time when families and friends gather, and a festive barbecue is almost always on the agenda. Looking for something new to “wow” your guests this year? At The Landing Northwest Bistro at the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino, our popular Monster Burger: The Pig in a Poke is a premium representative of this American classic. It is a proven guest-pleaser, and we are happy to share our recipe with you!

The Monster Burger, The Pig in a Poke

Elevating this burger above all others, the Monster Burger, The Pig in a Poke starts with a ½ pound, American-style Wagyu beef patty. This beef is known for its buttery and hearty flavor. It’s no wonder this is our marquee burger!

“The Pig” is represented with a topping of thick-cut hickory bacon, and the “Monster” is crowned with cheddar cheese and a freshly cracked fried egg. Complemented by our house-baked hamburger bun, it is dressed with lettuce, tomato and onion, then slathered with our own double-thick Thousand Island dressing. Hungry? Let’s get started.

For the Double Thousand Island Dressing:

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup sweet pickle relish

2 teaspoons Yellow mustard

¼ teaspoons black pepper, ground

3 tablespoons ketchup

Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and using wire whisk, stir together until thoroughly mixed. Place in an air-tight container and refrigerate until needed.

Makes about 1 cup

For the SPG (Shhhhh, it’s a secret!):

3 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons course ground pepper

1 tablespoon garlic, granulated

Mix all the ingredients in a cup. (Trick: use a cup that has a lid, or an old jar, and shake it up)

For the Pig in a Poke Burgers:

4 burger patties, ½ pound each, Wagyu or chuck

8 slices cooked bacon (thick-cut hickory or your choice; cooked to your preference)

4 slices cheddar cheese (or pepper jack for added kick)

4 eggs (suggest cage-free, pasture-raised, which tend to have more vibrantly colored yolks)

8 tablespoons Double Thousand Island (two tablespoons per burger, or less if preferred)

SPG season to taste

4 burger buns (4-inch artisan buns of your choice)

1-2 lettuce leaves per burger; washed, rinsed and chilled

1-2 tomato slices per burger; washed, rinsed and chilled

3-4 raw red onion rings for each burger; washed, rinsed and chilled (if you like another type…who are we to judge!)

2 dill pickle slices for each burger

Season each patty, without overdoing it (you don’t want to overwhelm the flavor of the beef). Preheat at medium high on your oiled grill, flat-top griddle or cast-iron pan. Reduce to medium heat, then place the burgers on the cooking surface and cook 4-5 minutes on each side. You want to have a good sear, but take care the patties are cooked throughout.

Important note: All those juices created make for a tastier burger. Do not press on the patties! You will be tempted to, but if you squeeze the juices out during cooking, it will result in a dry burger. For grill flare-ups, I recommend moving the burger to a less intense area of the grill, or turn off one or two burners. Allow the heat from the remaining burners to complete the cooking without charring the outside.

Warm the buns in a 350-degree oven, then toast them, cut side down, in the hot pan or over the grill for 1 -2 minutes. On the stovetop, heat a non-stick pan at medium for a few minutes, then crack the eggs into it (it should sizzle). Season the eggs with salt and pepper and cook until the whites are set but the yoke is still runny. Remove from the heat. You will want to quickly transfer the cooked egg to the burger without delay

Use a tablespoon of Double Thousand Island on each half of the buns. Place your burger on the dressed bun and add two slices of cooked bacon and the cheese. Then top it quickly with the freshly cooked egg and finish with a combination of the vegetables to your liking. Don’t forget the pickle slices: the briny, savory nature of a pickle adds so much to a burger.

With over 35 years’ experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry, Diane Lasswell is the assistant director of kitchen operations at the Quil Ceda Creek Casino. She oversees and executes the menu at dining choices throughout the casino including The Landing, the innovative food hall experience at The Kitchen, and the Keg Bar.

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