Thursday, March 6, 2014

Reinventing the Burger

Burgers are one of the nation's most consumed foods. Originated in Hamburg, Germany, burgers have built a name for themselves in the states. Think about it, when was the last time you drove to the grocery store and didn't see at least one or two McDonald's restaurants along the way? Burgers are not only for fast food chain restaurants but they also make appearances at summer barbecues and Fourth of July. But burgers are usually very processed and not freshly prepared the right way. In this blog, I'm going to deconstruct and reinvent the burger into something worth the time and effort!

1. The Bun:

-One of the most important factors in building the perfect burger because it holds it together so you'll need to invest in the best burger bun possible
-Instead of store bought hamburger buns, make your own!

-Homemade burger buns are lighter and fluffier than the ones bought at the store which can be stale not fresh

-Here's the recipe I used for this burger experiment; it will give you the best results if you follow the recipe

2. The Meat:

-Now for the best results instead of buying ground beef from the store, grind it yourself at home

-I used 3 (8 oz.) NY Strip steaks and I cut them into 1 inch cubes and sprinkled 2 tbsp. of kosher salt over the cubes and refrigerated them for 4 hours then I grinded them

-For this you need a meat grinder, and if you don't have a meat grinder I simply used my food processor and pulsed the cubes of beef until it resembled ground beef (make sure you do this in batches)

-Once the meat is all grinded, simply shape them into burgers (I was able to shape 5 in total). Then I seasoned them with salt and pepper (make sure you do this right before they hit the pan or grill)

The Condiments:

-A burger isn't just meat and cheese you should personalize it to your specific palate

-Bottom line it's all about making the perfect burger your own and that's where the condiments come in

-I love adding crunchy condiments to my burgers for a different texture so things like onions, good quality lettuce, homemade pickles, smoked bacon etc. all add that crunch that a proper burger needs

-Also something like a Dijon mustard contrasts the burger by giving it a very mild, pungent flavor which mixes with the burger's meaty juices to create alchemy every time you bite into it

-If you're really into experimenting different condiments to put on a burger try a fried egg, sautéed mushrooms, sriracha, or even ditch the classic cheddar cheese and go for a nice blue or gruyere cheese for luxuriousness

Finishing Touches:

-Ok so I've discussed how to perfect the burger bun, the patty, and the condiments and here are a few finishing touches to make your burger extra special

-Once the buns are baked and cooled, toast them on the grill or in pan for a few minutes to ensure that the bread won't get soggy

-Before you even think about digging into that burger, make sure they rest for about 5 minutes to lock in all of the wonderful juices (trust me it's worth it)

-And finally use your imagination and appetite to make a burger your own; it's only perfect until you make it perfect!