Build a Better Burger
Build a Better Burger
Everyone thinks they have the secret to a great burger, right? But I am going to suggest that, unless you are seasoning within the meat and forming your own patties, you have not yet reached that pinnacle!
Seasoning ground beef patties on the outside is great if you are making blackened, Cajun burgers. Blackening herbs are traditional French herbs de Provence with the addition of salt and cayenne pepper, then applied to the outside of the meat or fish, and fried or grilled over high heat. High heat “blackens” or scorches these externally applied seasonings giving the desired outcome. So, it's not a problem if that's what you want.
But if you are making a custom burger on the grill or pan, is that what you want? Or do you want a juicy burger, seasoned throughout the meat served on the perfect bun and with the perfect acoutrements, depending upon the final product you desire? ( Would you ever make a meat loaf or meatballs by just seasoning the meat on the outside?)
Here's a recipe from Julia Child re-printed on Food Network. Just reading through this recipe will make you re-think your approach to the humble hamburger.
JULIA CHILD'S GROUND BEEF PATTIES WITH ONIONS AND HERBS
Author: Julia Child
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: French, Beef
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 25 mins
¾ cup finely minced yellow onions
4 or 5 tbsp butter
1½ lbs lean, ground beef
2 tbsp sof butter
1½ tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp thyme
½ cup all-purpose flour, spread on a plate
1 tbsp oil
½ cup beef stock, canned beef bouillon, dry white vermouth, red wine or ¼ cup water
In a large pan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp butter and cook the onions slowly for about 10 minutes (until very tender but not browned). Place in a mixing bowl.
Add the beef, soft butter, seasonings, and egg to the onions in the mixing bowl and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon to blend thoroughly. Correct seasoning. Form into patties ¾ inch thick. Cover with waxed paper and refrigerate until ready to use.
Just before sauteing, roll the patties lightly in the flour. Shake off excess flour.
Add 1 tbsp butter and oil to a pan over moderately high heat and when you see the butter foam begin to subside, saute the patties for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, depending on how you like your hamburgers (rare, medium or well done).
Arrange the patties on the serving platter and keep warm for a moment while finishing the sauce. Pour the fat out of the skillet. Add the liquid (broth, wine or water) and boil it down rapidly, scraping up the coagulated pan juices, until it has reduced almost to a syrup. Off heat, swirl leftover butter into the sauce until it is absorbed. Pour the sauce over the hamburgers and serve.
Now that you've read that recipe, think about how you might season your ground beef forming the seasoned meat into patties yourself.
I usually make 2 lbs of ground beef into 8 patties. So, I might take the easy route and put my ground beef into a large bowl. Add an egg, some Worcestershire sauce, a packet of Lipton's dry onion soup mix, maybe toss in some fresh parsley and hand mix. Then I'll divide the thoroughly mixed blend into quarters in the bowl.
Once you have quarters, then each quarter is divided into 2 patties.
Place these on a waxed paper-covered plate with waxed paper in between layers, cover and refrigerate until grilling or pan-frying. You can make patties the night before a party and be ready for company the next day!
Once you make burgers by seasoning the patties throughout the meat with your personal blend of seasonings and “secret ingredients” (maybe even changing the MEAT!!!), and forming your own patties...you'll truly make the best burger!
Posted by Karen
at 18:44 CDT
Updated: Monday, 25 August 2014 21:05 CDT