Sean Brock of Husk Restaurant, a gourmet food destination in Charleston, creates amazing cuisine, and like me is a lover of Allan Benton and his Smoky Mountain Country hams and bacon, procured in Madisonville, Tennessee. When he opened Husk he says, ” I knew we had to have a cheeseburger on the menu!”
I met Sean when he worked under John Fleer at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee, an incredible award-winning luxury bed & breakfast in the hills of the Smoky Mountains.
In the late 90’s at Blackberry Farm is where I found my passion for Benton’s Country Ham. In early 2000 I met Allan Benton and his wife at his first ever appearance, a Wine & Bacon Tasting in the property owners home. Allan’s eyes welled with tears that the guests in front of him cared enough about him, his story and product to listen. To this day he is one of the most humble gentlemen I’ve had the pleasure to meet, as is Brock.
If in Charleston, plan to sit at the bar at Husk and order a cheeseburger. It’s served on a Benne Seed bun with two patties, three layers of American cheese, house-made pickles, thin onions and a uniquely delicious special sauce. The other special ingredient… the meat is ground in house with 10% Benton’s Bacon, adding to the smoky flavor.
Brock says, ” Everyone has their own idea of the perfect burger; mine was inspired by the drive-in that my family used to take me to when I was young. Robo’s was the only real “restaurant” in my hometown, and my family just loved it. We would go there after my Little League baseball games. As a game wound down, I would be daydreaming about that burger, shake, and crinkle-cut fries. It’s probably the reason for some missed fly balls.”
If you don’t have a meat grinder for this recipe, ask your local butcher to grind the meats for you.
If you are a fan of Sean Brock, check out his new cookbook Heritage, and watch Mind Of A Chef, a show on PBS , narrated and produced by Anthony Bourdain. Brock was in season 2. I caught it on Netflix starting with season one: David Chang.
Cookbook: Heritage (more…)