A friend of mine is a brilliant cook and knowledgeable foodie, who has an advanced palate and understanding of flavour. He frequently challenges my work, eats my food and helps me be better at what I do. He has been talking about how he makes his burgers and I was a little sceptical about some of the ingredients. Fortunately I was afforded the opportunity to check this out, play in the kitchen with him, and experiment with the mincing of the meat.
He wanted to try and cut up the meat very finely, and see if the texture would add value.
Still feeling slightly unsure, I was keen to try out my hand mincer which I dug out and had never been used before, just in case the chopped version didn’t work.
So I bought a 650gm of ribeye steak (A grade, grain fed and aged). Laurence cut it in half. He chopped up the one half very finely, and I minced the other half in the mincer. So much fun! I’ve got big plans for this gadget in the future.
After you have your mince, or just bought some nice mince you need the following to make 4 large patties (65ogms meat)
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp smoked chilli flakes (or normal chilli flakes)
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp maldon salt (we used smoked)
All of the above go in the pestle and mortar and get ground up.
The amount of spice is dependent on the amount of meat – so adjust accordingly.
Puree half a large red onion with one clove of garlic. This adds to the flavour as well as binds the meat together. No egg, no bread, just pure quality beef and fantastic spices.
Add the spices and the onion/ garlic mix to the meat as well as:
- a splash of smoked Tabasco (WHAT a stunning product, adding a smokey BBQ vibe and a bit of heat)
- a splash of Worcestershire sauce (always a winner)
- a few drops of sesame oil (this adds depth and a wonderful smell which kind of lingered around for a long whole)
Then smush all together with your hands.
Mould into 4 nice big fat burger patties.
Heat a griddle pan, brush the patties with olive oil and cook, for about 3 minutes per side, or until done to preference.
The burgers and the buns are the basic components. The build is the other. I like to toast the rolls face down on a dry, hot griddle pan. Laurence likes fresh basil leaves, finely sliced pickled onions, a bit of cheese (either mature cheddar or a nice blue) and tomato sauce. So this is how we had them, and they were amazing. The pungent fresh basil blending in with the spiky, but yet subtle pickled onion, surprised me in its simple awesomeness.
Just do what you like here, sliced tomato, gherkin, lettuce, mustard etc.
On the comparison between the chopped vs. the minced, the chopped was the winner. Both had the same flavour and were very juicy, but the texture of the meat was far superior.
Burgers are right up there amongst my favourite food and to take the time and effort to make them like this is well worth it for me. If you factor in the cost of the steak and all the other bits, you are looking at around R20 per burger. So gourmet, so tasty, so succulent – this is a real winner.