Bookalicious | Kurt Beecher Dammeier's Pure Food

I adore cookbooks.  I have piles and piles of cookbooks.  They line the shelves of my kitchen and my office.  I swoon every time a new cookbook is released.  In this era of Pinterest and the ability to just google a recipe, there is probably very little actual need for a cookbook.  But I still love them.

There's a relationship you build up with a cookbook.  If you've cooked something delicious, you build up trust with that book.  You rely on it.  

And when that cookbook is written by someone you already trust, you start off on a different level entirely.  That's how I feel about the new cookbook from Kurt Beecher Dammeier.  I already rely on Beecher's cheese on a regular basis.  I rely on Pasta & Co. salads for lunch.  I rely on the mac & cheese with kale at Liam's restaurant in Seattle.  

Pure Food is a cookbook I know I can rely on. Especially as I have cleaned up my diet and eliminated processed foods, sugars, and loads of other 'allergens,' it's nice to find a book that shares the same desire to eat real food.  

Just because we're eating better doesn't mean we can't have a burger.  This burger recipe from Pure Food makes me drool.  It makes me swoon.  It makes me want to eat burgers - and I think we ate all of the burgers over Fourth of July weekend.  You probably need to try this anyway.  

Bennett’s Burgers

Makes 4 burger patties

This burger has been on the menu at Bennett’s in Seattle since day one. Many customers tell us it’s the best burger they’ve ever had. I absolutely love pork, and adding just a little bit rounds out the flavor without it starting to taste like a sausage. The Butcher’s Table Seasoning Blend was originally developed for these burgers, and we have subsequently realized that it’s great for just about anything that can benefit from a savory punch. Use a delicate touch when mixing and shaping burgers to prevent them from becoming tough; leaving the edges rough (versus evenly shaped and smooth) means more edge surface area for browning and flavor.

Serve, as we do at Bennett’s and Liam’s, topped with Beecher’s Flagship cheese, Quick Pickled Red Onions, and Crisp Prosciutto on a toasted brioche bun spread with a 50/50 blend of grainy mustard and mayonnaise.

1 ½ pounds ground beef

½ pound ground pork

2 tablespoons The Butcher’s Table Seasoning Blend (see below)


1.    In a large bowl, lightly mix the meats and seasoning until just combined.

2.    Divide into 4 portions. Gently shape each portion into loose, ¾-inch-thick patties with rough edges. Make the centers of the patties ½ inch thinner than the edges. Set aside until ready to cook, up to 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

3.    Grill (or cook indoors in a skillet) to desired doneness and serve.

The Butcher’s Table Seasoning Blend

We use this seasoning mix in all of our restaurants whenever we’re looking for an umami boost. I rely on it heavily for my Pan-Seared Rib-Eye and Roasted Mushrooms, and also use it for Braised Pork Shoulder, Roasted Cauliflower, Farro Cakes with Bacon and Parsley, and several other recipes. To be honest, I would probably throw a pinch into half the recipes in the book when making them at home. I love the stuff! I recommend making a double or triple batch a couple of times a year, but this recipe makes enough to cook your way through this book once.

Do not substitute onion or garlic “powder” for the granulated version called for here. The former often contains anticaking agents. Also, I prefer the texture of the slightly larger granules to fine powder. This seasoning blend is intended to have some texture to it, so be careful when pulsing the rosemary and seeds in the coffee grinder not to process them too finely.

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

1 ½ teaspoons anise seed

1 ½ teaspoons fennel seed

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated garlic

2 tablespoons granulated onion

2 tablespoons granulated lemon peel

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons black pepper

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chili powder

2 teaspoons Lapsang Souchong tea (2 tea bags)


1. Using a coffee grinder, pulse the rosemary, anise, and fennel 3 to 6 times, until most of the seeds are cracked.

2. In a small bowl, combine with the remaining ingredients and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.


Pro Tip

Lapsang Souchong is a Chinese smoked black tea that is available in specialty tea stores, Asian markets, and some supermarkets. Most tea bags contain crushed leaves. If you purchase whole leaf tea, pulse them in a coffee grinder into small pieces before combining with the remaining seasoning ingredients.