I think a collective sigh was heard around Portland when the news of the closing of the beloved Trifecta Tavern was announced. We want to pay homage to this fallen soldier by sharing one of the most revered burger recipes from PDX, created by the previous executive chef Rich Meyer, who quickly become an authority on burgers. A blend of ground brisket and chuck, the loose patty was hand-pressed, grilled on a wood-fire and stuck between the bouncy house-made brioche bun slathered with pimento and special sauce. And now, you can make it at home! Insider tip: these daily baked buns are sold at Ken’s Artisan Bakery in Portland.
The Beer: Forged by two craft brewing vets with big dreams, Portland’s Gigantic Brewing Co. found its niche in a saturated market by in variety—with nearly 40 different seasonal beers in constant rotation. Kiss the Goat is a “blackened” doppelbock, the bigger, badder brother to the traditional German bock. Bready, malty, toasty and surprisingly sessionable with a spike of hops, its bold and bitterness counters the sweet, tangy cheese.
The Burger: Pimento Double Cheeseburger
Makes 1 8-ounce burger (2 4-ounce patties)
8 ounces brisket and chuck, or chuck only, divided into two
1 ½ cups white cheddar, grated
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Calabrian chili
½ cup Mama Lil’s pickled peppers
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
Trifecta’s Special Sauce (recipe follows)
1 brioche bun, sliced
With your hands, gently work the meat to form two patties. Set aside.
For the pimento cheese, purée the cheddar, mayonnaise, chili and pickled peppers in food processor until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste and chopped garlic, purée for 10 seconds more. Makes about 1 pint.
Bring the grill to high. Season the patties as they hit the grilling surface with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook the meat patties to desired doneness. Flip the patty, add 1 ounce of pimento cheese and remove from heat. Place sliced brioche bun on the grill, slice side down, until golden brown. Smear bottom bun with Special Sauce as well as the top bun. Stack the patties between the brioche halves and serve immediately.
Trifecta’s Special Sauce
Makes about 1 ½ cups
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Calabrian chili, puréed
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoons dill pickle, minced
Salt and black pepper to taste
Sherry vinegar to taste (1 to 2 teaspoons)
In a bowl, mix all ingredients. Set aside.
*Recipe originally featured in the Spring 2016 Issue of Sip Magazine.