These incredibly juicy pub burgers are loaded on pretzel buns with melted sharp Cheddar, caramelized beer onions, and a tangy mustard sauce.
There is no need to drive to the local pub when your taste buds are craving a savory gourmet burger. You can craft the best burgers your family has ever tasted right in your own kitchen. One bite and these hearty burgers will have your mouth watering for more!
What are they?
Pub burgers are large gourmet burgers that can be served with a variety of creative toppings, but most frequently feature half-pound burger patties or larger. My pub burger recipe features melted sharp Cheddar cheese, beer-soaked caramelized onions, and a mayo mustard sauce that pairs perfectly with a rich burger on a pretzel bun.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Ground beef - I recommend using ground chuck for this recipe. Otherwise, any 80/20 ground beef can be substituted.
- Butter - Olive oil can be substituted, but butter is best.
- Sweet onion - A yellow onion is a good substitute.
- Beer - An amber ale is my top choice, but a pilsner can also be used.
- Brown sugar
- Dijon mustard
- Worcestershire sauce
- Ground black pepper
- Sharp Cheddar cheese
- Pretzel buns - I strongly recommend pretzel buns for these burgers, but other hamburger buns such as kaiser rolls or brioche buns can be substituted.
How to make them
Begin making your pub burgers by first caramelizing the onions, as this will take the longest. Add the butter and sliced onion to a large skillet or saute pan set over medium heat. Slowly caramelize for at least thirty minutes, or until the onions are dark brown and sticky.
Once the onions are nicely caramelized stir in the brown sugar and beer. Scrape the bottom of the skillet while stirring to incorporate the fond into the liquid. Continue to simmer until the liquid cooks out and the beer soaks into the onions. Then remove the caramelized onions and set them aside.
While the onions are caramelizing, form your burger patties by separating your ground beef into half-pound chunks. Press each chunk of meat flat until it is wider than your hamburger bun, as it will shrink slightly while cooking. Dust each side of your large patties with salt and black pepper.
The burger sauce can also be prepared in advance. Mix each of the sauce ingredients together in a dish and set aside.
Once the onions are caramelized begin cooking the hamburger patties. You will want to clean the skillet or use a separate cast-iron skillet. Cook the patties over medium heat for 2-4 minutes per side. Flip the patties once, and do not press them with a spatula as they cook or that will expel the juices and create a very dry burger. Add the sliced cheese to the top of the patty once it is flipped.
Assemble your juicy burger by placing the cooked burger patty on the bottom bun of a toasted pretzel bun and top with caramelized onions and burger sauce.
What to serve with them
To complete your pub fare at home I recommend serving these gourmet burgers with your favorite deep fried sides and appetizers. I recommend any of the following options.
- French fries with fry seasoning or fry sauce.
- Onion rings with a spice dipping sauce.
- Homemade mozzarella sticks
- Deep-fried cheese curds
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- 1 pound ground chuck
- salt and black pepper to taste
Caramelized Beer Onions
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 sweet onion sliced
- ¼ cup beer *
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 slices sharp Cheddar cheese
- 2 pretzel buns toasted
Caramelized beer onions
- Place butter in a large skillet set over medium heat and add sliced onions. Slowly cook the onions until caramelized, approximately 30 minutes. Stir as needed to prevent burning. The onions are done when they are dark brown and sticky.**
- Add the beer and brown sugar to the skillet with onions and deglaze the burnt on fond by scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir the liquid into the onions. Continue to cook until the liquid evaporates out and the beer soaks into the onions, approximately 2-4 minutes.
- Place caramelized onions into a small bowl and set aside.
- Divide the raw ground chuck into two half pound chunks and press flat to form a patty slightly wider than the width of your bun. Press a small indentation into the center of your patty to help it cook evenly and prevent puffing. Dust the patties with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Place the raw patties into a large skillet set over medium heat and cook for 2-4 minutes per side, or until the burger is done to your liking. Flip once after the bottom is nicely seared and do not press the patty as it cooks.
- Top the patties with a slice of cheese after flipping and allow the cheese to melt and the burger patty finishes cooking.
- Mix together all of the ingredients for your special sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place the cooked burger patty on the bottom toasted bun and top with a generous amount of caramelized onions. Smear the burger sauce on the inside of the top bun and place it on top of the burger. Serve immediately.