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The Four

Gina Fewerda: ‘Meals From The Mitten: Celebrating the Seasons of Michigan’

Promo Image: Gina Fewerda: ‘Meals From The Mitten: Celebrating the Seasons of Michigan’



  • 2 pounds beef ( I use equal parts chuck, brisket and short ribs-at least 80% meat/20% fat) If you don’t want to grind your beef, use ground chuck 80/20
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dill relish or chopped pickled asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese or Cheddar Cheese Asparagus Crisps (see recipe below)
  • 4 tablespoons garlic butter, softened
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato slices
  • Red onion slices
  • Pickled asparagus


  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Add meat to a cutting board and cut into cubes. Lay meat cubes on a baking sheet, then put in freezer for 10-15 minutes. Add meat grinding attachment to a stand mixer using the coarse grinding plate (if you don’t want to grind your own meat, simply use ground chuck 80/20). You can also finely chopped the cubed meat, if you don’t have a meat grinder. Once the beef is very cold, but not frozen, add the cubed meat to the hopper and turn the mixer on. Press the cubes down until all the meat is ground. Gently mix meat together. Form into 4 equal patties that are slightly larger in circumference than the bun, then depress the centers for even cooking. Refrigerate until ready to grill. (When ready to grill, generously season both sides with salt and pepper.)
  • Place bacon on a slotted pan or parchment lined baking sheet and cook in oven for 17-20 minutes, or until crispy. Lay bacon on paper towels to drain.
  • While bacon is cooking, make the sauce. In a small bowl, mix together mayo, ketchup, relish and horseradish. Refrigerate until assembly.
  • Pre-heat a grill or cast-iron skillet to medium high heat. Grill patties for 10-12 minutes, or to desired doneness, only turning once. Add cheese during the last few minutes of cooking, making sure it is thoroughly melted. Spread butter over cut sides of the buns and lightly toast.
  • To assemble the burgers, add some lettuce to each of the toasted bun bottoms followed by a cheeseburger patty. Then add two slices of bacon to each patty, followed by a tomato slice and some onions. Add the pickled asparagus and drizzle on some sauce, then add toasted bun top. Feel free to add a large burger toothpick or a steak knife to hold it all together. Enjoy!

Serves: 4 burgers – 1/2 pound each

Note- You can make these burgers thinner, just reduce the cooking time.

Or serves: 6 burgers – 1/3 pound each

Or serves: 8 burgers – 1/4 pound each



  • 8 ounces freshly shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced (1/8-inch) or shaved asparagus
  • Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.


  • Add 1 tablespoon of asparagus in a round shape to the baking sheet, followed by 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese and gently pat down. Repeat, keeping space between each cheese round. Bake for 5-6 minutes, then cool for at least 2 minutes before removing. Lift each round with a spatula and set aside until ready to assemble.


Meals From the Mitten: Celebrating the Seasons in Michigan” is now available. Gina Ferwerda, an award-winning recipe developer, and photographer, whom chocolate lovers will certainly remember as the winner of Good Morning America’s “Chocolate Taste-Off,” will release her debut cookbook in spring 2018. Meals From the Mitten: Celebrating the Seasons in Michigan, shares 80+ seasonal recipes from her native Michigan along with beautiful photography from some of the state’s most scenic landscapes including Sleeping Bear Dunes and Old Mission Peninsula Wine County. Among Ferwerda’s signature recipes in the 208-page book: Michigan Cherry Salad, Individual Detroit-Style Pizzas, Gold Coast Grilled Cheese, Boating & Boarding Burgers, Bleu Cheese Rimmed Bloody Mary-Tini and the GMA “Chocolate Taste-Off” winner Pretzel Crusted Chocolate Cake. “I have always wanted to write a cookbook that celebrates all of the fresh and local ingredients that we grow in my home state of Michigan, aka The Mitten,” said Ferwerda. “Michigan is second in the nation to only California in agricultural diversity, producing more than 300 commodities. Meals From the Mitten highlights each season’s bounty with recipes designed for the home chef