I saw this recipe months ago on the Qui, Chef food blog and started salivating right away!  It had everything – Guinness, bacon, onions, horseradish… all worked into a burger.  It sounded great.

Last night I finally decided I was going to  make them and got out the beef and the Guinness to marinate over night.

What a waste of good Guinness!

The flavor was there. but the texture was just horrible.  Where the author stated it had  “…a soft, melt in your mouth texture of a veal meatloaf” I found it to be mushy and reminiscent of  Gerber Jr baby-food.  (I do have to admit that I didn’t use locally-raised grass-fed ground beef, but it wasn’t cheapo 75% supermarket stuff, either.)

As I said, it did have flavor, but the texture…..  ugh.

Performing my root cause analysis afterward, there were a few places where I probably erred.  To begin with, I probably didn’t drain the beef well enough at the beginning.  I used a mesh strainer and did my squeezing, but the beef was loose from the beginning.  I probably should have squeezed it more.

I also think the egg hindered – not helped.  After adding the other ingredients, the mixture was reasonably substantial.  The egg made it really loose, again.  Were I to try this again, I would either omit the egg entirely, or just use the yolk.  And bread crumbs instead of flour…

And I really should have paid attention to the things the writer said…  the clues were all there – I just didn’t pay attention.

Oh…  I also didn’t make the compound butter.  I didn’t think they needed butter on top, and, it would not have improved the texture.

Guinness Burgers

from: http://www.ouichefnetwork.com

Adapted from:  “Guinness – An official celebration of 250 remarkable years”


  • 1 pound locally raised, grass fed ground beef
  • 2/3 cup Guinness Stout
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 4 bacon slices, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon creamed horseradish
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2/3 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. The night before you want to make these, lay the ground beef out is a shallow dish and cover with the Guinness.  Using your hands, massage the Guinness into the meat, cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

2. When ready to form the burgers, saute the onion and bacon in a skillet until the onion is lightly browned and the bacon is crisped to your liking.  Pour the mix into a fine mesh seive to drain away any excess bacon fat and set aside to cool.

3. Lift the beef out of the marinade and gently squeeze any excess Guinness from the meat.  Place the meat in a large bowl, add the onion bacon mixture, the horseradish, egg and paprika.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the flour over.  Using your hands, mix together well.   Divide the mix into 4 equal portions and form into round patties, about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Carefully lay the patties on a non-stick baking sheet and top with plastic film.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 6 hours to firm up.

4. While the burgers are chilling, finely mince the fresh rosemary leaves, and combine in a small bowl with the soft butter and minced garlic.  Mix together and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and form a sausage shaped piece of the compound butter on top, about 1 1/2 inched in diameter.  Roll the butter into a log inside the wrap, and freeze for 20 minutes to set.

5. When ready to cook the burgers, lightly oil a cast iron (or non-stick) frying pan.  Heat over a medium-high flame until just beginning to smoke, add the burgers and cook for a bout 5 minutes on each side, until well browned on the outside.  Because the Guinness stains the meat, a medium-rare burger will not be rosy pink inside, so you will need to go by feel to know when they are done.  The burgers should resist slightly in the center (and not be too mushy), when cooked to medium rare.

6. Serve immediately topped with a pat of the rosemary garlic butter.

Serves 4