Tuesday, 12 June 2012
What makes a perfect burger??? They may be considered "Fast Food," but making a perfect burger is somewhat of an art form . . . I don't believe that you get too many really good burgers in fast food joints actually . . . how can you?? They pump them out like cookie cutters . . . the main aim being to cook and sell as many as possible as they can.
I want a burger that tastes of something . . . that tastes of beef . . . that has flavour and texture . . . moist and delicious. The key to a really good burger is to use a medium fat coarsely ground grade A beef . . . ground brisket or chuck makes a great burger.
I like to add grated onion and minced garlic to my burgers, along with some mustard, salad dressing and herbs. You can use parsley, oregano, basil, summer savoury, marjoram . . . you want an herb that goes well with beef and all of those are winners. I also add an egg to help bind it all together, but you can leave it out if you want to.
Next you will want to use a very light hand when mixing them together and shaping them. Handling them too much toughens the meat. Light and easy is the way to go. I pop a little dimple into the centre of my burgers before cooking. This helps to keep them flatter when they are cooking. I don't like my burgers to be too puffy.
You want to cook them from a chilled state and try hard to refrain from pressing them with a spatula when you are grilling them. Pressing them only forces out the juices and you don't want to do that. You want them to retain as much of their meat juices as possible.
Grilled until golden brown on both sides and tucked into a toasted bun with your favourite toppings, you have a burger worthy of being called a GREAT burger! Today I added a slice of Leicester Cheese to the top of each and let it melt down and then I topped each with some fresh sliced mushrooms that I had fried in a bit of butter. Some lettuce and freshly sliced tomatoes and we were good to go!
It is wise not to use totally lean ground beef when making a burger. You want a little bit of fat to help keep them moist and flavourful!
1 large free range egg
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 small onion, peeled and grated
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 TBS creamy Caesar salad dressing
1 pound medium ground beef
Beat together the egg, mustard, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and salad dressing Crumble the beef into a bowl. Add the beaten mixture and gently mix in with your hands or a fork. Try not to handle it very much. Use a light touch. Gently shape into 4 balls, Flatten out to burgers about 3/4 of an inch thick. Make a depression in the centre of each burger. This helps to keep them from puffing up too much whilst cooking. Lightly oil a grill pan. Heat until hot. Cook your burgers for 6 to 8 minutes per side, until they are cooked through and no longer pink inside. Don't press them with a spatula whilst cooking. This causes juices to be lost. Once done tuck them into warm toasted buns and serve immediately along with your favourite toppings.