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October 21, 2012

TRIED ‘N’ TRUE: Church Burgers great for a fall party, or for small group

This summer we had a picnic at Brick Methodist Church. Everyone that ever went to Brick was invited. We had a very good time. Our pastor, Judy Williams, brought the meat. She got the recipe from Zion Methodist Church. These burgers were so good. We all wanted the recipe. What I like about this is you can cook your hamburgers ahead of time. This recipe depends on the size of your roaster and the number of people. This recipe is Church Burgers. If you have a big crowd, have everyone bring the rest of the party. Have a great fall party. Ingredients in parentheses are for a smaller group.

Church Burgers

(3-4) 6-8 large cans tomato juice

(1-1 1⁄2) 2-3 large bottles barbecue sauce (your preferred choice)

(1/2-1) 1-2 cups brown sugar (taste preference) you can use a brown sugar/Splenda mix

(1) 2 tablespoons seasoning (I use Cajun seasoning) (amount depends on the size roaster and number of burgers made)

Cayenne or chipolte pepper-powder is optional (I like some)

• Grill or bake 1⁄3 -1⁄4 pound hamburgers (extra lean is preferred) until done or almost done and browned. When finished, put in pan to begin cooling, or they may be cooled and put in plastic bags in refrigerator until next day.

• Slice green peppers in strips and onions in 1⁄4 inches slices (do not chop either). Approximately (5-6) 10-12 depending on your preference.

• Pour tomato juice in roaster, begin with small number of bottles, adding barbecue sauce, and stirring until well mixed.

• Turn roaster on and heat to warm-hot.

• When juice/sauce mix is warm, add brown sugar and spices. Stir until all comes together.

• Add your burgers to the juice mixture in your roaster. Turn on medium-high, cover with a lid, and cook just until it begins to bubble around the edges.

• Turn heat down to low and let heat for 2-3 hours.

• Add first your sliced green peppers, and second your sliced onions on top. Just slightly push green peppers and onions into juice (do NOT mix in).

• Cover and let cook on low for 2-3 hours more depending on how soft you want your peppers. (I prefer them more solid, not mushy. They hold up better.)

When finished, using tongs, put a church burger on a bun, then add a few green peppers and onions.

For home use

• I grill or bake five burgers and use a very small crockpot, and less than 1 can of juice.

• Add 1⁄2 bottle barbecue and 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cups brown sugar (taste and tweak)

• Add seasoning and chipolte pepper to taste.

• Then let them cook 8-10 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high.

NOTE: The recipe can be served with or without buns.

Jackie Lindley is a great-grandmother and retired Clark County, Ill., farmer. Send comments and recipes to her at 20472 E. 500th Road, West Union, IL 62477.

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