Sunday, May 20, 2012

No Joke Hamburgers Plus+

The Original recipe for these Hamburgers can be found on at and is courtesy of one of my food hero's Alton Brown.

Is there anything better than a great hamburger? I don't mean some dime a dozen fast food cookie cut burger that is exceptionally done, I mean an honest to God burger someone took time and put individual effort in to. Thick and meaty, it resembles more of a steak slightly tenderized and put in to burger form than some disgusting grease puck. Personally fantastic hamburgers are a food weakness, and sadly these delicassies are becoming more and more rare (yes pun intended).

Thus the search began for a truly fantastic burger recipe to share with you, which is more challenging than you would think. When it comes down to it, it's the meat that is most important here. Most grocery store grinds are overly fatty, and contrary to popular belief in burgers more fat is not necessarily "more better". It causes "shrinkage" for your patties, promotes grease fires, promotes obesity, and worst of all it adds little to no flavor. Certainly there are "extra lean grinds" you can purchase, and in the case of a party that is what I personally buy. But for some reason that still leaves a small something to be desired...

That's when I stumbled upon the recipe I used, one that actually requires you to grind your own meat in a food processor! You can control the texture of your burger, AND control exactly what goes into it! Perfect! Yet I still wanted to do something extra special for the Blog and do something I've never really done before, then it came to me... the Juicy Lucy! The Juicy Lucy is a smash hit in Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota. Essentially it's a burger stuffed with cheese, and I've got to tell you the final product I came up with was outstanding! So I hope you enjoy these as much as I did, because these are potentially the best burgers I've ever made!

For this recipe you will need:

Equal Weights of Both:
Chuck Steak (I used 10oz)
Sirloin Steak (I used 10oz)
Kosher Salt (salt to taste)

This recipe truly is quick and easy, even if your on a time crunch you'll have time for this.

The first thing you do is bust out your cut board and favorite knife (as usual pictured is my santoku). Lay out your two steaks and cut them in half. It's best to work in smaller portions when doing this, so you don't overload your food processor later. Also to help along your food processor, you're going to cube these four portions.

Before we go on I want to touch a little on food processors. These are truly awesome kitchen tools to have laying around. You can buy them for as little as $50 or for as much as $500 (maybe more). I went with this attractive Food Network model about 3 years ago, and it is pretty basic though powerful. All food processors will come with a minimum of three settings usually on, off, and pulse. Others will come with anything from 10 to 75 settings. This is all a matter of personal need and preference.

From this point you will take one of the loads of cubes and pulse them in your food processor. It's important you don't just turn your processor on in a continuous spin because eventually you will wind up with cow paste if your not careful, which is not a good thing. Use the pulse setting, and your going to press and hold for 1 to 5 seconds 10 times. This weeks movie is actually on how to do this process, enjoy!

You're going to do the same to all of your portions you've made and and combine them in a big bowl. I recommend using your hands to combine to the two different meats. Otherwise they won't be mixed well enough and will not make the proper texture we are going for.  From here take whatever size portions you want to make in to burgers, and make them in to balls by rolling the meat between your hands.

I decided to make mine about 3.3 ounces per burger, which is pretty decent sized. From here you can either mash them down into the proper disc shape (yes they will be irregular), OR you can take another moment to contemplate stuffing them with cheese, which is what I did next. I decided to try a new cheese I hadn't used on burgers before, apple smoked cheddar.

Simply mash your burger down so it's thin and very wide, and put the cheese in the middle of the disc. Then fold the burger over the cheese, and message until there is no cracks or holes in the disc. This is important otherwise your cheese will leak through while being cooked. Sprinkle some kosher salt over your patties and you're ready to cook!

For the cooking method I used a two burner griddle plate (great for big breakfast cooking btw). You want your flames to be at medium heat so you don't burn the hell out of the outside while the inside remains raw. Also these burgers will take longer than your used to due to the density of the meat, the lack of fat, and the hardness of the cheese (if you use a hard cheese). Try not to flip your burgers too much, generally the fewer times the better. For me, on my griddle, on my stove, it took about five minutes per side. Yours maybe more or less time depending on many factors.

Once they're off the griddle your good to go! Put on your favorite buns and enjoy! You'll find these burgers are meatier than you're used to (which is fantastic), and if you used a smoked cheese like I did, you'll find the smokiness of the cheese actually was infused throughout the meat! I actually enjoyed these so much, the first burger I ate was plain (something I've never done before in my life). Plate with your favorite chips or french fries as pictured below. Eat well everyone!

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