Mason Hereford grew up in rural Virginia, where his formative meals came at modest country stores and his family’s holiday table. After moving to New Orleans and working in fine dining he opened Turkey and the Wolf, which featured his larger-than-life interpretations of down-home dishes and created a nationwide sensation.
In Turkey and the Wolf, Hereford shares lively twists on beloved Southern dishes, like potato chip–loaded fried bologna sandwiches, deviled-egg tostadas with salsa macha, and his mom’s burnt tomato casserole. This cookbook is packed with nostalgic and indulgent recipes, original illustrations, and bad-ass photographs.
Filled with recipes designed to get big flavour out of laidback cooking, Turkey and the Wolf is a wild ride through the South, with food so good you’re gonna need some brand-new jeans.
Not Yo Mama’s Peanut Butter-Bacon Burger
On those occasions the classic cocktail of hallucinogens and bourbon had me adventuring downriver and toward the bright lights and stiff, sugary daiquiris of the French Quarter, I always ended up in the sweet embrace of Yo Mama’s. It’s closed now, but this busy, dingy bar and grill sold a peanut butter-and bacon burger that I’d get every damn time. It sounds like a gimmick, but in fact, it’s scientifically proven that joining savoury beef fat, salty cured pork, and creamy peanut butter makes everything feel right. Fuck a Tempur-Pedic—if you want comfort, make this burger.
Move the patty to a plate and use a roll half to wipe up the buttery
Set a medium cast-iron skillet over high heat until it’s pretty
MAKES 1 AWESOME BURGER
5 ounces ground beef, divided into two 2-inch balls
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
Generous ½ teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1 Martin’s potato sandwich roll
2 bun-size pieces iceberg lettuce
Some thinly sliced red onion
Creamy peanut butter for serving
2 strips bacon, cooked however you like your bacon
Ketchup (there is only Heinz) for swiping
Set a medium cast-iron skillet over high heat until it’s pretty hot. While the skillet’s heating up, put a beef ball between two pieces of parchment or wax paper and evenly flatten it to make a 6-inch patty. Repeat with the other ball on separate parchment paper.
Add about ½ teaspoon of the butter to the pan and swirl it around. Lower the heat to medium, then add one of the patties and season the upside liberally with Lawry’s (a generous ¼ teaspoon per patty).
Cook until the first side gets a little brown (you’re not looking for a crust here), 30 to 45 seconds. Flip the patty and cook about 45 seconds more.
Move the patty to a plate and use a roll half to wipe up the buttery drippings, leaving it for a few seconds, so it gets a little toasty. Cook the other patty the same way (the butter, the Lawry’s), but this time, stack the patty on the other patty. Use the other roll half to sop up the drippings and let it get toasty, too.
Here’s how I build it, but no rules apply, as long as you get all the stuff between the buns: On the bun bottom, add the lettuce leaf and some onion. Add the patty stack, then some peanut butter (I go large and use 3 tablespoons, but 2 tablespoons is probably more reasonable) and the bacon (break ’em up to fit on the burger). Swipe some ketchup on the top bun, cap the burger, and eat.
Reprinted with permission from Turkey and The Wolf by Mason Hereford with JJ Goode, copyright (c) 2022. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Photographs copyright © William Hereford