Burgers Evolved (v2.0)

The Evernote Burger Cook-Along was a good enough excuse to dust off the old burger recipe and give it a bit of an update. It’s always good reviewing recipes every now and again, because they have a habit of evolving without you even really realising that they have. Its not surprising, as tastes evolve, skills improve and gadgets help. The recipe I actually follow isn’t actually the recipe I published a while ago, and my pull out the stops, I’ll feed you this before I ask you to marry me recipe is just different enough that I thought I’d make a new post on it.

However, this execution was not without its pitfalls. As you can see from the photo, the burger buns came out a bit bigger than I thought, they were more like mini-loaves. Light and fluffy ones, and delicious with the seeds, but way too big.

Makes 4 or so burgers
500g beef mince
1tbsp horseradish
1tsp Worcestershire sauce
1tbsp tomato ketchup
1tsp salt
1/4 cup of finely chopped onion (or whizzed in a chopper)

Burger buns – Buy some or make some seeded burger buns
Garlic mayo
Sliced onion (preferably red)

The night before, mix all of the above up with the mince and leave to season in the fridge.

Next day, two hours before cook time, take the mix out of the fridge and make up the patties.

The BFI (Brute Force and Ignorance) method for making patties is what I like to use. That and Heston Blumental’s trick of using sufficient salt so that it stays togther. I weigh my patties to get the portion sizes right, so if the mix in total weighed 550g, I wuld make one 110g pattie for the jBug (kiddie portions rarely go bigger than 120g), two of 150g and one mini pattie of 90g in case anyone was still hungry. Patties of that weight are a lot larger than you might think. To make the pattie, just pick up the hunk of mince and keep mashing it together in your hands. It’ll come together eventually and feel like it has some structural integrity.

If you have a probe thermometer, then the thickness of the pattie doesn’t really matter and you can make them whatever shape you like, if you don’t then its worth making them the same thickness so they take the same amount of time to cook.

Now, leave them to rest out of the fridge as they will need to come up to room temperature.

When cooking time comes, get your pan as hot as possible. This bit’s the same as the old recipe. We’re going to use the Maillard reaction with our burgers. Put a little bit of oil in the pan, enough to get a thin film of oil covering it so the burgers don’t stick. They’re going to release a lot of oil so you dont need to add too much. Drop in two, at most three burgers and keep flipping them every 15-20 seconds.

I like to scoop out some of the fat that comes out of the burgers as they cook, it’s always a surprising amount of grease.

To test for doneness, I uses a probe thermometer, when the temperature inside the burger gets to about 50 degrees C its going to be well done. Take it off and let it rest for about five minutes before serving. About 40 worked for a medium rare burger.

Is all plain sailing from now, slap on burger bun (slightly toasted if you like it that way) on goes the cheese, salad and mayo, stick the top bun on and serve.

Things I’ve Found

Heston Blumenthal suggests brioche buns (which I have to try), dill pickles (which I am not so sure of) and sweet onions (which I am sold on).

If you want melted, bubbly cheese, take the burgers off five degrees before the desire doneness and stick the cheese on them. Under the grill for a few minutes should finish them off (Check the temperature again before you serve – make sure it’s properly cooked!)

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