burgers with balsamic shallots and vegetable fries

As I scanned Facebook this evening, I noticed a common theme: regret and remorse for the sleigh-fulls of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, apples pies, and sugar cookies eaten over the past two days.  Personally, I think no one should beat themselves up over a few calorie-driven indiscretions and should instead embrace the end of the year as a fantastic time to indulge a little before New Year’s resolutions and the inevitability of bathing suits in a few months start weighing on our consciences.  Agreed?

So tonight I’m bringing you a new recipe from Real Simple’s December issue: Burgers with Balsamic Shallots and Vegetable Fries.  You start by cutting down and then roasting a rutabaga and four carrots until they soften and develop caramelized bits on their surfaces.  You then sauté and caramelize (notice a pattern here?) a handful of sliced shallots and toss them with balsamic vinegar, giving them a sweet and sharp flavor.  Finally, you cook your burger patties and serve them on a bun with mayo and the delicious shallots, with those amazing veggie fries on the side.

You’ll feel like a rebel with your devil-may-care eating habits, but will be able to secretly congratulate yourself on a pretty darn well-rounded and delicious dinner.

Burgers with Balsamic Shallots and Vegetable Fries

1 small rutabaga (1 lb), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick sticks
4 medium carrots (1/2 lb), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick sticks
4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 large shallots, sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 and 1/4 lbs ground beef chuck
4 soft buns
Mayonnaise and lettuce, for serving

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.  On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the rutabaga and carrots with 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Roast, tossing once, until golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in the vinegar and transfer to a bowl.  Wipe out the skillet.

3. Combine the beef in a bowl with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and shape into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.  Cook the patties 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.

4. Serve the burgers on the buns with the mayonnaise and lettuce, if desired.  Top with the shallots and serve with the fries.

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