It’s a busy time over at Levi’s Stadium, as the 49ers look to the next round of playoffs to secure their spot in the Super Bowl. But football season is just part of the gig for Mario Beabraut, executive chef for the Santa Clara corner of Michael Mina’s restaurant empire, which includes Bourbon Pub, Bourbon Steak and Tailgate, the stadium’s members-only club during 49ers home games.
At Bourbon Pub, Beabraut’s reinvents classic pub fare with twists like the apple in this turkey burger, a lighter option for the tailgate and football-watching crowd drowning in a sea of nachos and wings.
“One of my chefs used to make this awesome cranberry and first-of-season apple chutney that I loved. He used it on a duck confit dish on the menu, but I thought it would be perfect for turkey,” says Beabraut, who says he came up with this burger because he had never eaten a turkey version he enjoyed. “They are always bland and lack flair.”
To change up the game, he serves the patty topped with guacamole as “sauce” and mizuna, a slightly bitter Japanese mustard green, tucked inside a toasted, buttered brioche bun.
“I never liked melting cheese into burgers because the texture always felt wrong, so I decided to use Parmesan in the turkey burger mix,” he says. The Parmesan, panko and apple chutney help bind the meat mixture together.
“Although some people may think the flavor profiles are a bit scattered, it is my dream turkey burger,” he says, “and every time I eat one I am reminded of that.”
Here’s how it’s done:
Michael Mina’s Tailgate Turkey Burger
3 Granny Smith apples
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup apple juice
½ cup sugar
¼ cup minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
8 cloves minced garlic
2 pounds ground turkey
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan
¼ cup olive oil
Brioche buns, guacamole, mizuna for serving
Core the Granny Smith apples and cut them into thin slices — no need to peel.
In a large pan, add the sliced apples, cranberrie, apple juice, sugar and ginger. Cook down until apples the and cranberries are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Let cool. When ready to use, run a knife through the chutney and squeeze any excess moisture from the mixture.
In a separate pan, heat the canola oil, then add the onions and cook down until almost translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook until both are fully translucent and soft. Let cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, panko, parmesan, olive oil, apple mixture and cooked onions and garlic. Mix thoroughly by hand until all ingredients are evenly dispersed. Feel free to add more panko if the mixture feels too wet. The end result should be a turkey mix firm enough to form into patties.
Portion turkey mixture into four 8-ounce patties. Store in the refrigerator until ready to grill.
— Mario Beabraut, executive chef, Michael Mina’s Bourbon Pub, Bourbon Steak and Tailgate
Source: East Bay Super Bowl party food: Michael Mina’s Tailgate turkey burgers