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Sweet Summer - Wagyu Burger With Fig Jam and Onions

Come hot weather, it’s fun to find new riffs on summer favorites like burger and barbecue dishes. I’ve been experimenting with a number of combinations lately, but this is one of my favorites. The fig jam may seem odd, but it works very well with the caramelized onions and rich Wagyu.


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons butter

2 patties Wagyu*

2 brioche or Kaiser rolls**

4 slices provolone or Swiss cheese

1 medium sweet onion

4 tablespoons fig jam


*There’s a lot of beef out there today calling itself Wagyu, but they’re not. A fast food chain nearby has a “Wagyu” burger that decidedly is not.

Of course, neither is this one. Real Japanese Wagyu is ridiculously expensive and frankly unforgettable. But there are some substitutes out there that make very tasty approximations, some mixed with Angus chuck roll or brisket.. ShopRite has a 2 patty Wagyu burger pack that I used and it’s well done.

**I prefer brioche, however, if it’s not toasted hard enough on the inside, it won’t hold up to the moisture in this burger. If you use a heavier roll, toast it only lightly.

In a small cast iron (if possible) slice the onion into strips as shown below.

On medium low heat, begin cooking the onion in the olive oil, stirring to coat the onions.

Let the onions slowly caramelize, taking care not to burn them. Cooking them this wy bring out their natural sweetness, and could take as long as 30-45 minutes.

Remove the onions and set aside.

Place the butter in the pan and on medium high heat, toast the insides of the buns until they are golden brown.

Remove them and set aside.

Add the patties to the pan (or on your grill if you so desire.)

On medium-high heat, sear the burgers and cook half way through, depending on your chosen level of doneness.

Flip the burger and place two slices of cheese on top of the burgers.

Spread each inside of the buns with the fig jam, and build your burgers, topping with the onions.

While I’d normally pair a bolder red with Wagyu, the rich sweetness of this burger calls for something that’s more acidic, with a full body. Try the Bagoa Do Mino Albarino Rias Baixas.

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