Latest posts by Romonobyl (see all)
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So this is what we’ve sunk to? The classic American (but not, if you remember) burger has been turned into a horrendous puck of starch and animal-based protein slapped together by kids that hate where they are, hate what they are doing, and hate who they are doing it for.
Yeah, pick me a winner dude. Unfortunately there is the other extreme, the so-called “gourmet” burger, dripping with pretentiousness and absurd condiments. Although certainly an improvement, there is still the stigma of the chain restaurant that I just can’t shake. Hopefully there is a refuge in your neighborhood called the local joint that can make a decent sandwich, but they tend to be on the spendy side. That can only mean one thing…time to take matters, once again, into our own hands and kitchens.
Last week we took the first step towards finding our inner burger Chi by grinding our own meat. Of course you can still use the store bought stuff, but you’ll be missing out. I also have a secret weapon towards preventing a dried out patty, it’s not what you expect.
Again with the fucking raisins?!?! Actually, I’ve finally gotten rid of them since these pics courtesy of Mrs. Nobyl. She recently made a batch of her amazing Kaiserschmarrn and let me take all kinds of action-packed photos! I want to make it into an upcoming episode, but she’s paranoid about sharing her mother’s recipe. I’m trying to convince her that this will only be seen by a handful of hopeless football dorks killing time until 7-Sep-17 (c’mon guys, you know I love ya’s!), but she hasn’t made the call yet. This might not sound like the typical Cowboy homer, but our relationship is built on trust and I will never disrespect her wishes, so I’ll need you’re help convincing her we’ll play nice and not use her beloved late mom’s recipe in an evil manner. Whatever the hell that could be. Regardless, it’s worth the effort. Here’s a sneak peek:
It’s basically flour, eggs, apples, raisins of course, and a few other ingredients mixed into a thick batter and cooked in a monster skillet then served with a generous sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar. Yeah, say no more.
Did I digress again? Serves me right for doing this shit sober. Anyway, if you don’t mind scrolling back up a bit, you might have already outed today’s secret ingredient. Yep, there’s a chicken berry hiding out amongst our beefy goodness. It’s optional of course, but I’ve found the egg makes a great binder that keeps the patty together while cooking and prevents drying out. One beaten egg mixed into 2 pounds of our freshly ground or recently thawed beef is all it takes. Remember, never squish the meat, just break the larger pieces apart with your fingers and toss it together like a big salad made of dead cow. I hope you have a yuuuge stainless steel bowl for this. If not, just get one either online or a restaurant supply store, you’ll use it more than you think.
Oh, if you’re serving this to a crowd or strangers, fess up about the egg first as some folks are severely allergic to them. Damn that must really suck.
Don’t salt it just yet. Early salting just draws out water, we’ll do the seasoning shortly. For two pounds of beef I can usually make about 8 decent sized patties, roughly 1/4 pound each. I like eight because that’s usually how many buns come in a package. If you like thicker burgers, adjust accordingly. One problem with thick patties is they tend to swell up in the middle during cooking and lose their shape. You can minimize this by pressing a divet into the middle of each burger during forming so it’ll even up while on the heat. Make it look like a red blood cell and you’ll be golden.
Speaking of forming burgers, start with squares of waxed paper. Tear off two big sheets, fold and cut then fold and cut again. If my math is good (keeping pants on), you’ll have eight squares. Put one on a paper plate and that’s where we’ll begin production. Here’s my trick to even proportions because I’m way too lazy to weigh this shit out. Our eyes do best determining halves, so separate you meat into two big equal portions, then do the same with each half, then one more time to each of those halves. Even up as necessary, but you’ll be surprised how accurate that can be as there are now eight reasonably even lumps of meat.
Press each wad flat, but avoid too much pressure. Cup your hands around the edges and turn the plate to make everything nice and round. I use food service gloves so my hot little paws don’t warm the meat up too much.
Stack ’em up on a big plate and refrigerate if you’re not quite ready to cook yet. Otherwise, get your grill hot and clean, or put a big skillet on the stove, cast iron if you got it. You already know what I’m gonna do:
As usual, excess grill property is taken up with more sausage. That’s usually for the kid to stuff in his face to buy some time before he goes to work, school or off running amok with his boys. Still skinny as a rail, wait till he hits 30 and that shit’ll change damn skippy!
Call me a Pinko-Communist puppy strangler if you must, but I don’t much care for American cheese. There’s nothing really wrong with it, but there are far better options out there. This is a mix of shredded cheddar and asiago cheeses; melts nice and I love the taste. Smoked provolone is also a winner. The lonely looking plain guys are for my Significant Other, she like to put some lacy Swiss on hers at the table.
I’m getting ahead of myself as we need to season this shit up a bit. A little salt can be sprinkled on each side before slapping it on the grill/pan. I save the pepper for a bit later as it can burn on the initial high heat blast. Get one side seared, then flip and season with pepper or whatever you like. I have a favorite Greek seasoning I use a lot. If the meat seems a little dry, you can help bring it back by mixing that seasoning with a lump of soft butter and brush on the cooked side.
Once the second side is seared, drop the heat, flip, then season that side as well. Leave over low heat until cooked through, turning as necessary. If I’m using commercial hamburger, I like to cook it thoroughly just to be safe. Ever notice how most store recalls are for ground beef? Apparently the grinding process is the the most likely opportunity for nasty pathogens to find their way in. You know what comes next:
So unless your guest list includes Patriot’s fans, cook accordingly. By grinding my own meat, I can ensure adequate hygiene so I’ll usually lean more to the medium side, which makes for a better burger.
You got it from here.
Top as you please, it’s your fucking sandwich so put whatever you want on it. I’m an onion freak, especially the Texas sweet variety. Shaved shallots are also nice. I went nuts with this one and piled on mustard, a little ketchup (this’ll stir shit up I’m sure, but I’m not a big fan of raw tomatoes), shaved red onion AND onion rings. A schmear of Duke’s mayo on a toasted bakery bun holds it all together. My supermarket has a pretty decent in-store bakery with much better buns then the squishy rolls over by the Wonder Bread.
Smash it together and start working on tomorrow’s turd. If there’s any beer left over, well shame on you! I really can’t imagine another adult libation that works better with a hot burger than a cold beer.
We’ll continue the theme next week, but with a twist! Can’t live with yourself without a hint?