Saturday, June 19, 2010

No pictures, alas.

Today, dear Internet, I made and utterly savo(u)red a hamburger of such excellence it has left me marveling 4 hours after the fact.

I regret we are not yet capable of feasibly cloning cows, because this cow was definitely worthy of getting the whole Jurassic Park treatment. This was a Hall of Fame cow, whose sacrifice for a greater purpose was so noble and pure it was clearly maniftest to every single tastebud I currently own.

My sorrow will be great when it finally sinks in that the odds of ever again having a burger anywhere near as delicious are smaller than even purely theoretical particles. But my soul is still aglow and sorrow will have to wait, much like Suicide Tuesday for devotees of XTC*.

To anyone wishing to attempt to replicate it here is the basic road map.

Take a couple of pounds of beef from the short rib (sans bone and sinew, natch) and put it through your grinder**. If using your grinder is a complete PITA to you, feel free to skip to the end. Use the coarsest setting, and grind TWICE. This is key.

Form the burgers -- a gentle hand, s'il vous plait -- into burgers 1''/2.5cm thick. Very often in food programs you see skyscraper-ish burgers anchored by lumps o' cow 3''-4'' tall. Unless you have developed a way to unhinge your jaw, this is not a fun way to eat and you will not get a good, even bite of your burger and you will not get the full spectrum of taste of beef, bun and condiments. The diameter of your burger should be +/-½''/1cm greater than that of your hamburger bun, to compensate for the shrinkage in cooking. Give the burger meat a slight dent in the center, to compensate for the puffing that also happens whilst cooking.

At this stage there is a hotly debated divergence of opinion. Cook on an open grill or in a pan/griddle? Each has its advantages. An open grill allows for smoke and flame to interact with the beef, and a pan or griddle allows for greater searing (esp. in a cast-iron pan situation) and a greater retention of rendering fat. I prefer grill. The beef has enough fat that any which renders out will not go missing, and the searing is sufficient. You do whatever you want.

I salted the burgers, then dusted them with a certain steak rub which I hacked (because I was NOT going to pay $2.50/oz.) to my immense delight.

As far as bread goes, I went to my local bakery where they had these buns made out of the same eggy dough as challah. This is ideal, because the crumb is tender enough to collapse slightly under bite, absorbent enough to contain condiments and juices, and will toast slightly in a beautiful way.

Condiments:

Heinz Organic Ketchup - the ne plus ultra of ketchups. In a trial of a thousand years I might come up with something almost as good. So I just buy it.

Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard and Gulden's Spicy Brown Mustard - 50-50.

Vidalia onions, raw and sliced as thinly as your patience will allow. (In my case, I like one gossamer-thin slice that covers the surface area of the cooked beef.

McClure's Pickle relish, the regular not the hot. About a tablespoon, spread evenly.

Sea salt.

Cook the burger over a rocket-hot flame, and the nanosecond you have proper grill marks, flip over to a cooler -- think "medium" vs. "high" -- section of the fire. Cook 2 minutes for medium rare...which, because you ground this yourself, is a far safer proposition.

Enjoy.

-J.

* The recreational pharmaceutical, not the band.
** Mincer, for the rest of the Anglosphere.

Posted by Joke at 6:50 PM

1 Comments

  • Blogger Paola posted at 5:58 AM, June 20, 2010  
    I am drooling over here ...
    Sounds DELISH. And I am sure the cow was happy to be treated with this utmost care.
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