Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Have Not Forgotten... Making A Killer Burger!

As promised earlier in the week, I will now disclose my top-secret recipe for making hamburgers. Totally Awesome Hamburgers.

Okay, this recipe is actually neither a secret, nor ground-breaking stuff, but they are reliably delicious, so enjoy! 

Christina's Especially Special Hamburgers: 
Serves 4 +/-
1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
1 lb. 85% lean ground beef (Secret Ingredient #1)
1- Egg Yolk, beaten lightly
1 Tablespoon Worcestshire Sauce (Secret Ingredient #2, pictured at left.)
1 Shallot or 1/4 Red Onion, finely minced
2 Tablespoons Finely-Chopped Parsley
Salt & Pepper to taste. But not right away.

So here's the scoop:

I'm all in favor of being healthy, but according to my chef-friends (and most sensible people), fat is the key to a good hamburger. And let's be honest, if you really wanted to be healthy, you probably wouldn't be eating a hamburger to begin with, so let's just go all-in here, eh? With that in mind, the 85% lean ground beef is a crucial part of my recipe.

If you really want to, you could probably skip the 93% all together, but I'm happy with this ratio (flavor-wise) and exercising a little moderation simultaneously.

So, now we've got the meat. Plonk both pounds into a big mixing bowl, and start squishing it up with your hands to break it all apart. Add the beaten egg yolk, red onion, parsley, and then a healthy splash of Worcestershire sauce. (If you'd like to amuse yourself, say Worcestershire Sauce a dozen times fast, until your mouth is a garble of consonants and you kind of sound like you're doing a bird call.)

The other key to a good burger, and I don't know why but I think it has something to do with pulling moisture from the meat, is to hold off on the salt until right before you put it on the grill. So, you can add a little ground pepper to your mixture now, but wait on the salt until right before you put it on the grill. Once all of the other ingredients are in the bowl, get down and dirty and mix it all up with your hands, then form the mixture into 4 or 5 even-sized patties. I try to really pat them down or they puff up on the grill and become weird hockey-puck-meatballs, which are still delicious but hard to keep in the bun. And yes, that is a picture of a hamburger and fries, made out of LEGOS. Also awesome. 

As for the cooking, to each their own, but I prefer a little rarer than medium-rare. Before you put the burgers on, spray the grill down with a little grill spray, get the grill really frickin' hot, sprinkle the burger patties with a little salt, and then throw those bad boys on. We tend to grill ours for just a couple of minutes on each side, but I will get the specifics from John on this and report back. (I confess, he is the grill-er in our family.) I like to load my burgers up with cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce, arugula and tomato and eat them on a toasted english muffin, but again, that's just me... I have also been known to daly with the whole-wheat english muffin in an attempt to add a little more health to this meal, but I'll totally let that slide if you will.

Try this out. I know you'll love it! And it's a good excuse to make hamburgers today.

Mmmm. Just writing this made me hungry. Now I want a burger. 

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