The Hamburger: America’s juicy, greesy, artery clogging gift to the world. A simple creation with chameleon like abilities to be as versitle as any other food dish around. Yes the “perfect” burger is somewhat of a subjective term; with a world wide following, comparing them by region is even too broad of a spectrum. They could range from city to city, even household to household. But one this is certain, good meat + good bread= all you need.
In my quest for achieving, burger greatness, I thought I better start at the beginning. Ok, maybe not THAT beginning… but the meat, let’s start at the meat. Now anyone can go to the store and get some ground beef, form it into a patty, and call it a day. But it takes skill to grind your own beef. And that’s how you get people to say “hey, now that guy can cook a great burger.” In my first attempt at grinding my own meat I will admit, I made a few mistakes, which prolonged my preperation, but did not hinder the finished product. All will be revealed below.
- 2 lbs Chuck Steak
- 4 lbs Brisket
- 2tbs Worcesteshire Sauce
- 2tbs soy sauce
1. Cut the beef into cubes, making sure you remove all the fat. (if you leave the fat on the meat, it will clog your grider) -optional step, boil the fat down into liquid, then pour liquid fatty goodness over your ground meat.
2. Some recommend freezing your meat prior to grinding. I did not, however I think it’s a good idea and found this tip after the process. The idea is, the frozen meat is firm and therefore easier to grind.
3. Grind the meat, using a meat grinder. I personally use my kitchenaid standing mixer, with meat grinding attachment. Grind slowly, as meat contents will splatter.
4. Add your Soy and Worcesteshire sauce to the meat and lightly mix together
5. Form patties, gently. Over working the meat will cause it to be dense. Use a burger press, or something like a jar lid as a mold.
6. Place patties in the refrigerator for a few hours to solidify.
And that’s how you make your meat. I tend to season the patties on the grill, with some salt, pepper, garlic power and any other seasonings I have in the pantry.
Preparing the burgers
Once again, this is a very debatable and personal topic. A question so loaded, wars have broken out, from such offensive, and slanderous remarks. Do you bake it? Broil it? Fry it? Deep fry it? Pan Fry it? Use a griddle? BBQ? If so, do you BBQ with Charcoal or Propane? And what about the buns?! Do i get regular hamburger buns? Brioche bun? Hawaiin Role? Whole Wheat? Ciabatta? Taco shell?…
When I think of a hamburger, I think of a BBQ cookout. Now how you BBQ is up to you. I personally have a propane grill, and it’s easy for something as quick cooking as burgers. But whatever you have cook it right. Give it a nice char on the outside, but leave the inside nice and juicy. Can’t beat that.
As for the bun, I like a soft, pillowy bun, that also has some firmness too it. I would recommend the Brioche bun, but in this case all I could find were some generic Costco hamburger buns. So what I did was melt butter add some garlic power and pepper, then brush the buns, top and bottom with the mixture, place them on the top rack of the grill, and let them toast a bit: Giving it a fancy, burger restaurant look.
So there you have it; my first attempt at freshly ground burgers. Stay tuned for my second attempt. I will be fine tuning my recipe and adjusting my techniques.